"Annie Lobert of Hookers for Jesus" by Cindamuse / CC BY-SA 3.0

Exclusive: Justice Department anti-human trafficking grants prompt whistleblower complaint

Feb 11, 2020

By Sarah N. Lynch

A U.S. Justice Department anti-human trafficking grant program is facing internal complaints, after two nonprofits were denied funding in favor of two less established groups whose applications were not recommended by career DOJ officials.

The awarding of more than $1 million total to the two groups, Hookers for Jesus in Nevada and the Lincoln Tubman Foundation in South Carolina, has triggered a whistleblower complaint filed by the Justice Department’s employee union to the department’s Inspector General.

An internal department memo seen by Reuters shows that as of September 12, two long-established nonprofits – the Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Palm Beach and Chicanos Por La Causa of Phoenix – were originally on the list of recommended grant winners after receiving high marks from outside contractors hired to review applications. The annual grants help nonprofits and local governments aid human trafficking victims.

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