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MarketWatch: 5% of the trillions of dollars lawmakers want to spend on infrastructure could be lost to fraud

Jetson Leder-Luis

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MarketWatch recently featured an opinion piece authored by Jetson Leder-Luis, Assistant Professor in the Department of Markets, Public Policy, and Law. First published as the lead story in the newsletter of The Conversation, a leading news service centered on academic contributors, Jetson wrote on the risk of fraud within the $4.5 trillion the U.S. government could potentially spend this year on investments in infrastructure.

An expert on fraud in public spending, Jetson breaks down how this kind of crime occurs, its costs, and how to fight it, using his research-based knowledge to give insight into a major pitfall that could impact one of the biggest governmental investments in infrastructure in decades. A key part of the solution, he argues, is to strengthen whistleblower protections as part of the expenditure:

My research has found that this can be highly effective at deterring fraud. Under the act, the government has recently recovered more than $1 billion a year, and my research shows that it has saved tens of billions more by preventing fraud from occurring in the first place.

Jetson Leder-Luis
Assistant Professor in Markets, Public policy, & Law

Jetson Leder-Luis is an Assistant Professor in Markets, Public Policy, & Law at Boston University Questrom School of Business. He is an economist studying public economics, health economics and political economy. He also has interests in fraud, misreporting and overbilling in public expenditures, particularly in the Medicare and Medicaid programs, as well as the consequences of these behaviors for public spending and patient health outcomes. He also researches the detection and deterrence of fraud and corruption, as well as the statistical properties of misreported data.