State investigators say some Maryland government workers bought more than a quarter of a million dollars in "inappropriate items" with government-issued credit cards.
At least four employees used their cards to buy "questionable" personal items or gift cards. In some cases, employees then submitted phony or altered receipts to cover their trail, the audit says.
One Health Department employee bought toys, pellet guns, a guitar, guitar accessories, knives, clothes and binoculars with the government purchase card. That employee pleaded guilty to theft and served six months behind bars.
In all, at least $255,000 in disallowed items was bought with the cards, the auditors found.
State auditors recommend better policing of those cards and requiring that state agencies perform more thorough checks of the purchases.
A state official says they will beef up training and screening in response to the problems found in the audit.