One of the criticisms of how the government was practically shoveling cash out of helicopters during COVID was the probability of sketchy people taking the taxpayer to the cleaners.
In a classic case of closing the barn door after the horses are long gone, this summer we heard reports of arrests for criminal enterprises who had been making out like, well, bandits.
Remember those stories about folks like Dave Portnoy raising money for struggling businesses because the government didn’t have enough money for everyone? Friends of the Democrat party were taking in money hand-over-fist. At the risk of redundancy, we can now say criminals were doing the same.
A government watchdog estimated in June that fraudsters may have stolen more than $200 billion in loans intended for struggling businesses, or 17% of the $1.2 trillion disbursed in total. — CNBC
One Wisconsin gang was even accused of using their fraudulent cash to buy drugs and order a hit on someone.
That’s your tax dollars at work, folks.
A new government report has dialed in the fraudulent Unemployment bennies.
A September report from the Government Accountability Office found that between $100 billion and $135 billion in pandemic-era unemployment aid was given to fraudsters. That’s between 11 percent and 15 percent of all unemployment aid given between April 2020 and May 2023, or about one-seventh of the total.
The GAO found that the pandemic-era programs were more susceptible to fraud than the existing unemployment-insurance programs that states have in ordinary times. “The unprecedented demand for UI benefits and the urgency with which states implemented the new programs during the pandemic increased the risk of improper payments, including, but not limited to, those due to fraud,” the report says.
States administer unemployment aid with assistance from the federal government. The GAO report says states have so far reported $55.8 billion in overpayments, which includes fraud and other types of mistakes, and they have recovered only $6.8 billion of that. So states likely aren’t even close to identifying all the cases of fraud, let alone recovering the money that was lost. — Federalist