Monday, July 28, 2014

Woman Makes Millions Tweaking Think Tank Name

It is often considered the most powerful think tank in the world, but its name has been butchered for decades.  A non-profit employee was even able to make millions tweaking the think tank's name.

Of course, we are talking about the Brookings Institution, which is often referred to, incorrectly, as the "Brookings Institute."

Here is the how one person made millions off of that small discrepancy.  It is the tale of an administrative assistant at the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) who pocketed big bucks in an embezzlement scheme using the Brookings name:
Under her system, which was detailed in court, a spelling change of just four letters netted $3.7 million for Green when she created nearly 200 false invoices­ in the name of the well-known Brookings Institution public policy organization but deposited the checks into accounts she opened for her own “Brookings Institute.”

Here is more from the FBI about the scheme.  And here is more from the US District Court for the District of Columbia.  Court documents say that the nefarious "Brookings Institute" name was registered on or about July 9, 2001.

The big question is how could this have gone on for so long without anyone at the AAMC noticing.  Besides "institute" and "institution" being used interchangeably, news organization's constantly butcher the Brookings name.

Think Tank Watch just checked some recent news reports and noticed a variety of news organization's making the same Brookings error.  Those recently calling it "Brookings Institute" include: The Washington Post, The Washington Times, NewsWeek, The Hill, Vox, Forbes, Fox Business, and Boston Globe.

Think Tank Watch wonders if Brookings Institution has ever considered changing its name to just Brookings...

We should note that the Smithsonian Institution suffers from the same name  issues.

By the way, which is worse: calling Brookings the "Brookings Institute" or "Bookings Institution." [sic]