Taxpayers Covered Perks Of USO Entertainers

(CelebrityAccess News Service) — About $433,000 of taxpayer’s money was used by the United Service Organization (USO) to treat entertainers for expenses such as first-class plane tickets, liquor, limousine services, lodging and unsupported production support and honorariums during fiscal years 2000-2002, according to a recent General Accounting Office (GAO) study.

The report was based on 11 USO sponsored tours featuring performers like Jennifer Lopez, Jessica Simpson, Wayne Newton, Drew Carey and Joan Jett. The USO provides entertainment to US troops overseas. It also unearthed payments for improper expenses for items such as “unallowable alcoholic beverages, meals and lodging, honorarium, and production support for an entertainer who did not participate in a tour for which expenses were reimbursed, and a duplicate billing for administrative services.”

The USO blamed the inappropriate luxury expenses, supposed to be paid out of private donations, on poor bookkeeping and inexperienced staff. – Jane Cohen and Bob Grossweiner

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