Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Right Decision NowRight Decision Now

World News

Over $200 billion potentially stolen from US COVID relief programs, watchdog says

– Over $200 billion from the US government’s COVID-19 relief programs were potentially stolen, a federal watchdog said on Tuesday, adding that the US Small Business Administration (SBA) had weakened its controls in a rush to disburse the funds.

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, according to a report released Tuesday by the SBA’s office of inspector general.

Over the course of the pandemic, the SBA disbursed about $1.2 trillion of EIDL and PPP funds.

The SBA disputed the more than $200 billion figure put forward by the watchdog and said the inspector general’s approach had significantly overestimated fraud.

The agency said its experts put the potential fraud estimate at $36 billion and added that over 86% of that likely fraud took place in 2020, when the administration for former President Donald Trump was in office. President Joe Biden took office in January 2021.

The fraud estimate put forward by the inspector general for the EIDL program stood at more than $136 billion while the PPP fraud estimate was $64 billion.

The United States is probing many fraud cases pegged to US government assistance programs. In May 2021, Attorney General Merrick Garland launched a COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force.

Last year, the US Justice Department tapped federal prosecutor Kevin Chambers to lead its efforts to investigate alleged fraud schemes intending to bilk government pandemic assistance programs.

In September 2022, the inspector general for the US Labor Department said fraudsters likely stole $45.6 billion from the United States’ unemployment insurance program during the coronavirus outbreak by applying tactics like using Social Security numbers of deceased individuals.

Also in September, federal prosecutors charged dozens of defendants, who were 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 US government likely awarded about $5.4 billion in COVID-19 aid to people with questionable Social Security numbers. – Reuters

    You May Also Like

    Business

    The head of the International Monetary Fund has warned of increased risks to the stability of the financial system after weeks of banking sector...

    Business

    The Home Office has made next to no progress in tackling criminal fraud during the past five years, despite it having become Britain’s most...

    Business

    1.22 billion people use Instagram every month. That’s a huge number of Instagrammers trying to hit it big on the platform all at the...

    Business

    Mark Zuckerberg has laid off more than 11,000 Meta’s employees, about 13 per cent of its global workforce, in what he described as “some...

    Disclaimer: rightdecisionnow.com, its managers, its employees, and assigns (collectively “The Company”) do not make any guarantee or warranty about what is advertised above. Information provided by this website is for research purposes only and should not be considered as personalized financial advice. The Company is not affiliated with, nor does it receive compensation from, any specific security. The Company is not registered or licensed by any governing body in any jurisdiction to give investing advice or provide investment recommendation. Any investments recommended here should be taken into consideration only after consulting with your investment advisor and after reviewing the prospectus or financial statements of the company.

    Copyright © 2024 rightdecisionnow.com | All Rights Reserved