Fraudsters Reportedly Steal Billions in Pandemic Relief

Fraudsters Reportedly Steal Billions in Pandemic Relief

( – On December 21, a Secret Service news release announced an estimated $100 billion in COVID-19 relief funds meant for struggling Americans had landed in the hands of fraudsters. The agency said investigating the misuse of funds from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a top priority. There are about 900 cases currently under investigation.

Thieves reportedly stole the majority of the funds through unemployment fraud. The US Labor Department announced around $87 billion in improperly paid benefits.

At the time of the news release, the agency had recovered over $1.2 billion from unemployment and Small Business Association loan fraud and around $2.3 billion from automated clearing house (ACH) scams. The organization also made about 100 arrests in association with illegal activity.

The figures don’t include fraud discovered and investigated by the US Department of Justice (DOJ). Additionally, the department has charged over 150 people and recovered more than $75 million in Paycheck Protection Program scams.

The excessive amount of criminal activity associated with CARES Act funds is discouraging. The people who really needed the money couldn’t get the assistance because it went to people scamming the system. However, the government is working diligently to recover the stolen money.

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