A federal whistleblower claims a division of the Department of Justice is using money from asset forfeitures to pay for custom wallpaper, artwork, crown moldings and chair rails in its offices.

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, has asked U.S. Marshals Service Director Stacia A. Hylton to answer claims about how the Asset Forfeiture Division spent forfeited money, including a report that more than $10,000 was used to purchase a single conference room table.

"If so, what was the cost and why was a less expensive table not considered?" Grassley wrote to Hylton.

The forfeiture division is run by Assistant Director Kimberly Beal. The Department of Justice Assets Forfeiture Fund was established in 1984 "to receive the proceeds of forfeiture and to pay the costs associated with such forfeitures," as well as "certain general investigative expenses," according to the Justice Department.

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