What Should We Do About COVID-19 Fraud?
A Labor Department investigation found a “historic” $45.6 billion in potentially fraudulent unemployment insurance payments from COVID-19 aid programs, including the 2020 CARES Act, the 2021 American Rescue Plan, and the 2021 federal budget.
The assessment revises a previous June 2021 estimate of $16 billion in fraudulent claims, out of an estimated $872.5 billion in pandemic-related UI funding. Coverage of the report frequently highlighted 47 individuals charged in a scheme to steal $250 million in aid intended for hungry children in Minneapolis.
The Justice Department announced a “COVID-19 Fraud Strike Force” a week before the Labor Department report’s release. In a statement, Attorney General Merrick Garland said, “Since the start of this pandemic, the Justice Department has seized over $1.2 billion in relief funds that criminals were attempting to steal, and charged over 1,500 defendants with crimes in federal districts across the country, but our work is far from over.”
The editorial boards of The Washington Post (Lean Left bias) and The Wall Street Journal (Opinion rated Lean Right) weighed in on what exactly should be done about those who stole federal aid during the pandemic.
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From the LeftCovid-19 relief was plagued by fraud. Here is the right response.
“Brazen.” That’s the key word in the Justice Department’s indictment of 47 defendants in Minnesota, alleging they siphoned nearly $250 million from a federal program meant to provide food to needy children during the pandemic. Though the accused conspirators claimed to have provided up to 125 million meals, prosecutors said they used federal dollars to buy jewelry, luxury cars, real estate and more.
The case is the largest such scheme uncovered to date — and that is just the tip of the iceberg. A Labor Department watchdog report released last week estimates that...
From the CenterFraudsters likely stole $45.6 billion from U.S. COVID unemployment insurance program
Fraudsters likely stole $45.6 billion from the United States' unemployment insurance program during the COVID-19 pandemic by applying tactics like using Social Security numbers of deceased individuals, a federal watchdog said on Thursday.
About a year ago, nearly $16 billion in potential fraud had been identified. The report issued Thursday by the inspector general for the U.S. Labor Department identified "an increase of $29.6 billion in potentially fraudulent payments."
The scammers had allegedly filed billions of dollars in unemployment claims in many states simultaneously while some of them got benefits...
From the RightCovid Fraud Hits $45.6 Billion
The Labor Department’s Inspector General has updated its estimates of fraud in pandemic-era unemployment benefits, and it’s hard to know what’s worse: the shoddy systems that allowed crooks to bilk taxpayers, or the Biden Administration’s refusal to do anything about it.
The IG first alerted Labor to the scope of the problem with reports in February and June last year, identifying $16 billion in potentially fraudulent payouts to large and small operators of unemployment scams. A new IG memo last week identifies $30 billion more in fraudulent payments—for a total...