Lying, Cheating, and Stealing: Government Grant Fraud


Governmental fraud affects everyone. If you live in the United States or any of its territories, there's a good chance that the infrastructure, hospitals, schools, social services, parks, and recreational facilities in your community were funded, at least in part, through a federal grant program.

The purpose of this course is to provide a basic introduction to federal grant programs, and the related fraud risks. We will start with a basic introduction to government grants, how they're administered, who they are intended to benefit, and what makes them especially vulnerable to fraud. Next we'll discuss how the Bipartisan Budget Act of 2018 changed the eligibility requirements for disaster recovery assistance programs, and why the policy change increases the grant program's susceptibility to fraud. Then we will move on to the 12 areas of federal grant program compliance, as published by the Office of management and budget and some of the common subrecipient audit findings.

The course concludes with an application of the principles to the fraud issues running rampant in federal COVID relief programs.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to:

  • understand the federal grant process
  • identify each of the three stages that make up the grant lifecycle
  • recognize the roles and responsibilities of primary recipients and subrecipients in federally funded programs
  • identify the twelve compliance areas needed for proper federal grant program oversight
  • determine when recipients of federal funding must comply with federal procurement regulations
  • identify the requirements for a community center to be considered eligible to receive federal grant funds
  • identify five common findings in audits of federally funded grant programs
  • distinguish which contract types should be avoided in projects funded through a federal grant program
  • determine the proper treatment of program income
  • recognize a potential duplication of benefits
  • recognize pandemic-related relief programs that have been the biggest targets for fraudulent activity
  • recall government responses to pandemic relief frauds

Designed For

CPAs and other advisors working to expand their knowledge of federal grant programs and the related fraud risks


General familiarity with auditing principles

Advanced Preparation


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