President Biden Asks Congress for Money to Fight Covid Loan Fraud
He's asking for $1.6 billion to try to recover $5 billion in fraud.
When “two weeks to slow the spread” turned into months, the government had a responsibility to pay business owners for lost income because of the government-ordered shutdowns. Several programs, including PPP, were created to help business owners keep the lights on, even if no one was allowed in. Overall, over 5 trillion dollars, or 15% of our national debt, was handed out via the various programs.
Under Trump, the Small Business Administration (SBA) was responsible for administering the PPP loan program in early 2020. At first, the wheels moved slowly. Then, as the political pressure mounted ahead of the election, the SBA began taking shortcuts to get the money out to as many as possible as fast as possible, which included allowing lenders to rely on borrower certifications to determine eligibility instead of doing any typical background checks or other verification processes. This resulted in massive fraud, as many loans were handed out to people using fake Social Security numbers and other methods of scamming the system. The fraud got so out of control a whole new government oversight board was created, the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC).
There are a few different sites that are trying to track the fraud. Law firm Arnold Porter has a list that is 89 pages long of fraud cases that have already been prosecuted. Polsinelli, another law firm, has been tracking fraud involving FinTech (financial technology companies), and ProPublica reported on the FinTech scams. The Covid Bailout Tracker site has a page with a fraud map, and PRAC has a lot of data, including information about the 5 billion dollars worth of loans given to people using fake Social Security numbers that they’ve identified.
An independent watchdog group, Project On Government Oversight (POGO), has discovered that while the SBA had flagged about 2.3 million loans worth about $186 billion dollars for potential fraud, 41% of the flags were mysteriously bulk-cleared by someone in the SBA on January 6, 2021, while the Capitol was under siege.
None of this includes the Unemployment fraud that happened. Current House Ways and Means Chair Rep. Jason Smith (R- MO) has called for an investigation into the fraud there. The House Ways and Means Committee estimates that 1 in every 5 dollars of Covid Unemployment Benefits went to fraudsters.
President Biden recently asked Congress to give him another 1.6 billion to fight the fraud. Six hundred million dollars of that would go directly to funding the efforts to claw back some of the billions of fraudulently awarded Covid relief money, and the rest would go towards helping people who have been victims of identity theft and increasing fraud prevention efforts.
Lorraine Yuriar is a wife, mother, and a lifelong conservative, currently stuck in a very blue state.
This stupidity doesn't stop. Who's going to police those in charge of investigating this theft. The country is one ball of corruption. It's sad. The world plays us for suckers Ala Ukraine Europe China political interests at home. The list goes on ad infinitum.
Most of the ones with false SS #s don't exist. As soon as they cashed the checks, they disappeared and assumed another identity. Good luck tracing them as the money was taken out of the electronic realm.