Over $200 billion likely stolen from U.S. COVID relief programs, watchdog says

over-$200-billion-likely-stolen-from-us.-covid-relief-programs,-watchdog-says
Over $200 billion likely stolen from U.S. COVID relief programs, watchdog says

The U.S. government’s COVID-19 relief programs have been hit by fraud, with over $200 billion likely stolen, according to a report by the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) office of inspector general. The report found that at least 17% of all funds related to the government’s coronavirus Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) schemes were disbursed to potentially fraudulent actors. The SBA disbursed about $1.2 trillion of EIDL and PPP funds during the pandemic. The SBA disputed the watchdog’s figure, saying the likely fraud estimate was $36 billion, with over 86% of that likely fraud taking place in 2020, during the Trump administration.

The inspector general’s fraud estimate for the EIDL program was over $136 billion, while the PPP fraud estimate was $64 billion. The U.S. government is investigating many fraud cases related to government assistance programs, with Attorney General Merrick Garland launching a COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force in May 2021. Last year, federal prosecutor Kevin Chambers was appointed to lead the Justice Department’s efforts to investigate alleged fraud schemes intending to bilk government pandemic assistance programs.

In September 2022, the inspector general for the U.S. Labor Department said fraudsters likely stole $45.6 billion from the United States’ unemployment insurance program during the coronavirus outbreak by using tactics like using Social Security numbers of deceased individuals. Federal prosecutors also charged dozens of defendants accused of stealing $250 million from a government aid program that was supposed to feed children in need during the pandemic.

Earlier this year, a separate watchdog report said the U.S. government likely awarded about $5.4 billion in COVID-19 aid to people with questionable Social Security numbers. The U.S. government’s COVID-19 relief programs have been hit by fraud, with over $200 billion likely stolen, according to a report by the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) office of inspector general. The report found that at least 17% of all funds related to the government’s coronavirus Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) schemes were disbursed to potentially fraudulent actors. The SBA disbursed about $1.2 trillion of EIDL and PPP funds during the pandemic. The SBA disputed the watchdog’s figure, saying the likely fraud estimate was $36 billion, with over 86% of that likely fraud taking place in 2020, during the Trump administration.

The inspector general’s fraud estimate for the EIDL program was over $136 billion, while the PPP fraud estimate was $64 billion. The U.S. government is investigating many fraud cases related to government assistance programs, with Attorney General Merrick Garland launching a COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force in May 2021. Last year, federal prosecutor Kevin Chambers was appointed to lead the Justice Department’s efforts to investigate alleged fraud schemes intending to bilk government pandemic assistance programs.

In September 2022, the inspector general for the U.S. Labor Department said fraudsters likely stole $45.6 billion from the United States’ unemployment insurance program during the coronavirus outbreak by using tactics like using Social Security numbers of deceased individuals. Federal prosecutors also charged dozens of defendants accused of stealing $250 million from a government aid program that was supposed to feed children in need during the pandemic.

Earlier this year, a separate watchdog report said the U.S. government likely awarded about $5.4 billion in COVID-19 aid to people with questionable Social Security numbers.

About News Team

Hi, I'm Alex Perez, an experienced writer with a focus on lifestyle and culture news. From food and fashion to travel and entertainment, I love exploring the latest trends and sharing my insights with readers. I also have a strong interest in world news and business, and enjoy covering breaking stories and events.

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