In New York City, a government plan for a new payroll system that was supposed to reduce fraud has resulted in the opposite.
The project, to modernise the current paper-based system with a computerised biometric one, was meant to cost US taxpayers $63m.
But due to what authorities describe as jaw-dropping fraud - including overbilling and kickbacks - this amount escalated to over $600m.
Prosecutors have charged 10 individuals, including city employees and subcontractors, in connection with the scheme.
Al Jazeera's Kristen Saloomey reports from New York.