The U.S. Agency for International Development announced Monday that it has suspended one of its largest nonprofit contractors from federal work after investigators found “serious misconduct” in the nonprofit’s performance and management of taxpayer money.
The suspension comes after months of internal USAID reviews of IRD’s performance in the field and reports from the agency’s inspector general that the nonprofit allegedly mischarged millions of dollars in overhead costs. The Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction and the FBI are also investigating the organization.
Of course, this particular grift paid quite well and for quite a long time:
Since 2007, USAID has awarded more than $2.4 billion in contracts and cooperative agreements to IRD, much of it to fund stabilization and community-development projects in Iraq and Afghanistan. Several of those projects have been the subjects of investigations following allegations of waste and fraud.
But the projects were difficult to execute in the field, and workers said in interviews with The Post that vast sums of money were being squandered.
IRD was founded in 1998 by Arthur B. Keys, an ordained minister, and his wife, Jasna Basaric-Keys, who is from Bosnia-Herzegovina. As the nonprofit won more federal work, salaries and bonuses at IRD began to soar.
Together, Keys and his wife earned more than $5.9 million in compensation between 2008 and 2012. Their daughter and Basaric-Keys’s brother received more than $1.3 million during that time.
Mr. and Mrs. Keys wound up giving back about $1.7 million in “retirement pay and bonuses” after their own employees complained (too late, as it turns out) that they were about to cost the company its sweet USAID moolah. Thoughts and prayers, etc.