At the start of the 2020 crisis, the federal government scrambled to provide “relief.” These were the geniuses who recommended lockdowns that put millions out of work. So, their brilliant solution was to increase the deficit by handing out cash like it was Halloween candy.
Plenty of people warned that these relief programs were ill-planned and unsupervised. And guess what? They were ill-planned and unsupervised.
All last year and through this year, we learned about crooks who conned the government out of money meant for struggling Americans. Now, the Secret Service is revealing the staggering total stolen, thanks to the federal government’s incompetence.
Criminals have stolen close to $100 billion in pandemic relief funds, the U.S. Secret Service said Tuesday.
The stolen funds were diverted by fraudsters from the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and another program set up to dole out unemployment assistance funds nationwide.
More than $2.3 billion in stolen funds have been recovered so far, resulting in the arrest of more than 100 suspects who span the spectrum from individuals to organized groups.
Yes, you read that right. Criminals stole nearly $100 billion from the federal government’s relief efforts connected to the pandemic. That’s more money than some countries produce in a year (or many years). More money than most American businesses see.
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These criminals didn’t seem to have a hard time conning the Small Business Administration and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program out of serious cash. At the height of all the trouble, the government was just giving out these loans, no questions asked.
Over the last two years, we’ve heard about a few people stealing this money and blowing it. One man was caught squandering millions at Vegas. Others blew it on fancy cars and other luxuries. Meanwhile, parents couldn’t feed their kids, because they were forced out of work.
The sad reality is that only $2.3 billion of this stolen money has been recovered. But what about the rest? Chances are, most of this money is long gone—even if they manage to arrest those who stole it.