China's national auditor says officials stole or misused 234.7 billion yuan ($34.4 billion) this year and 67 are under criminal investigation, state media reported Tuesday.
Investigators recovered 16.3 billion yuan ($2.4 billion) following annual audits of 55 government departments and hundreds of public institutions and companies, the Xinhua News Agency and newspapers reported.
The communist government publicizes such annual audits in hopes of allaying public anger about chronic corruption and official abuses.
"Despite some improvement, embezzlement, waste of money and false fiscal reporting still existed in central departments," Xinhua paraphrased Liu Jiayi, the country's chief auditor, as saying at a conference Monday.
Misconduct included the unauthorized purchase of cars by government agencies, Liu's agency said on its Web site.
The agency and news reports gave no identities for officials accused of criminal misconduct or details of their offenses.
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