A top Department of Health and Human Services official is facing backlash after she asked taxpayers to reimburse her for jewelry and other items stolen with her luggage during a work trip last year.
Seema Verma, who heads the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, filed a request to HHS for $47,000 to cover her lost property in August 2018, according to documents obtained by Politico.
The items, which included a $5,900 Ivanka Trump-brand pendant and a $325 moisturizer, were allegedly stolen a month earlier from inside an SUV that Verma had rented while visiting San Francisco for work.
Verma wrote in the claim that the items were not insured, according to Politico. HHS ultimately reimbursed her $2,852.40, a CMS spokesman told the outlet.
HHS has a longstanding policy of paying for for certain items lost on work trips, which is why she was partially reimbursed, the spokesman said, adding that the department is prohibited from reimbursing staff for jewelry.
“It’s perfectly appropriate that the administrator filed a personal property loss claim for goods stolen while on work travel and this is not an unusual practice for federal employees,” the CMS spokesman told Politico.