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Herer’s How $420 Billions in Covid Relief Aid Was Stolen or Wasted

Fraudsters used the Social Security numbers of dead people and federal prisoners to get unemployment checks. Cheaters collected those benefits in multiple states. And federal loan applicants weren’t cross-checked against a Treasury Department database that would have raised red flags about sketchy borrowers.

An estimated $420 billion in COVID-19-related spending may have been wasted through fraud and corruption, according to a new report.

The Justice Department’s acting director for COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement, Mike Galdo, told the Associated Press that the staggering figures represented “an unprecedented amount of fraud.”

Independent analysis conducted by the AP reveals that over $280 billion of COVID-19 relief was stolen through common identity theft scams and fraudulent loan applications, and another $123 billion was wasted through mismanagement and misappropriation.

Over $5.2 trillion was allocated for COVID-19-related relief under both the Trump and Biden administrations, according to the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee. Approximately $1.15 trillion of this relief was paid directly to individual recipients either through stimulus checks or through benefits programs such as rental assistance or the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program.

Reports of fraud and mismanagement of COVID-19 relief funds are not new, but compiling the total amount of fraud has proven to be a difficult task.

Dan Fruchter, the chief of the U.S. attorney’s fraud and white-collar crime unit in the Eastern District of Washington, said that the perception of the “endless pot of money” practically encouraged a crime wave.

“Folks kind of fooled themselves into thinking that it was a socially acceptable thing to do, even though it wasn’t legal,” Fruchter said.

The programs administered by the Small Business Administration appear to have the greatest share of abuse in part because fraud protection measures were waived to ensure rapid relief for those who needed it.

Current estimates assess the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan program was defrauded $86 billion, whereas the Paycheck Protection Program was defrauded approximately $20 billion. These figures, however, are likely to grow as investigations continue.

The inspector general of the SBA, Hannibal “Mike” Ware, said that it has over 800,000 actionable leads of fraud to investigate, and the agency is set to release new fraud estimates in the coming weeks.

Ware said that the newest estimate “will be a figure that is fair, that is 1,000% defensible by my office, fully backed by our significant criminal investigative activity that is taking place in this space.”

Incorporated into the budget deal signed on June 3 was the Republican initiative to claw back $27 billion in unspent and unallocated COVID-19 funds.

  • Bigkahuna says:

    It is white collar crime. No real victim except the American tax payer, right? Besides the FBI and DOJ have more important things to do like go after those terrorist parents who try to protect their kids from crazy school boards. Oh let’s not forget the Trump family crime syndicate. They are a real threat to America.
    We are doomed because that is the crazy far Left’s goal, to bankrupt the country and manipulate the vote, make us so dependent on the government they then can control everything. End of the American dream and the greatest Country in the world. This is why there is a second amendment!
    Watch out for Gavin Newsom he is running and with the blessing of the Democratic machine. They will push out Biden and may allow VP Useless to stay.

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