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Friday, September 30, 2022


The territory's inspector general has referred the Schneider administration's Dec. 30 lump-sum payments of about $380,000 in unpaid leave to the attorney general for review and possible action.
Inspector General Steven van Beverhoudt said Gov. Roy L. Schneider's payment of about $380,000 to 36 employees and himself violated the Virgin Islands Code, the Internal Revenue Code and government procedures.
Van Beverhoudt's audit of 43 checks issued Dec. 30 concluded that:
— Six employees received about $39,400 in payments even though they were still employed.
— 28 employees were paid $329,500 before their resignations became effective.
— Eight employees were overpaid by about $23,800.
— 23 employees were underpaid by at least $35,200.
— A stipend of $25,000 was paid without a request or the approval of the Federal Emergency Management agency.
— A contractor received a duplicate payment.
— About $93,000 in income taxes were not withheld.
— FICA taxes of about $15,000 were not withheld.
— About $30,000 was not paid to the Internal Revenue Service.
The audit, ordered after Schneider's so-called "midnight raid" on the treasury, set out to determine if the methods used to make the payments violated laws and if the lump-sum amounts were correct.
Much of the information had been made public before van Beverhoudt's final audit was released Tuesday.
Van Beverhoudt recommended that Attorney General Iver A. Stridiron review the actions of the government officials who authorized the payments and take appropriate action.
He also recommended that Stridiron consider the legality of imposing penalties against the former government official responsible for processing the lump-sum payments which resulted in failing to withhold income and FICA taxes.

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