Audit Finds Extravagant Spending by Justice Dept.

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Would you pay more than $16 for a muffin? The Justice Department did, according to a report from the department's inspector general.

The report released Tuesday reveals the department spent about $490,000 on food and beverages at 10 legal conferences, which was more than 10 percent of the $4.4 million total cost of the events.

The department hosted or participated in 1,832 conferences in 2008 and 2009, costing $121 million.

Besides overpriced muffins, the lavish spending included:

  • $65 per person at a lunch for 65 people.
  • Coffee which was purchased at than a dollar an ounce, making a single cup $8.24.
  • A snack break cost $32 a person for Cracker Jacks, popcorn, and candy bars.

The Justice Department agreed with the inspector's findings. Officials said they will closely monitor future costs.

The report comes as a new Gallup study finds that Americans believe the federal government wastes 51 cents out of every dollar it spends.

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