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Nearly 100 billion dolars stolen from Covid-19 relief programs

nearly-billion-stolen-from-covid-19-relief-programs

Nearly 100 billion dolars stolen from Covid-19 relief programs

Washington, Dec 23 (Prensa Latina) A minimum of nearly billion has been stolen from government Covid-19 relief programs set up to help businesses and people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, according to the US Secret Service.
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The stolen funds were diverted by fraudsters from the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and another program set up to dole out unemployment assistance funds nationwide.

US Labor Department said that around $87 billion for unemployed people could have been improperly paid.

The White House downplayed the Secret Service statement, and presidential press secretary Jen Psaki said the estimate is based on old reports.

The Secret Service said it has seized more than $1.2 billion while investigating unemployment insurance and loan fraud and has returned more than $2.3 billion of fraudulently obtained funds by working with financial partners and states to reverse transactions. The Secret Service says it has more than 900 active criminal investigations into pandemic fraud, with cases in every state, and 100 people have been arrested so far.

The Justice Department said last week that its fraud section had prosecuted over 150 defendants in more than 95 criminal cases and had seized over $75 million in cash proceeds derived from fraudulently obtained Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds, as well as numerous real estate properties and luxury items purchased with the proceeds.

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