Monday, December 6, 2021

The Feds Must Act to Recover the Billions in COVID Aid Foreign Fraudsters stole; Feds Pay Billions to Fraudsters Tied to China and Russia in COVID-19 Schemes; Lawmakers Fume Over Pilfered Pandemic Relief Funds, and other C-Virus related stories

Christopher Sadowski
The feds must act to recover the billions in COVID aid foreign fraudsters stole:
As COVID-19 swept across the country, destroying jobs and devastating lives, Washington acted swiftly to unleash a record $794 billion in unemployment benefits. But Americans trying to feed their families and keep their businesses open were not the only beneficiaries of this unprecedented flood of cash. Experts believe that fraudsters stole at least half of this money — and nearly three-quarters of that ended up in the hands of dangerous foreign crime syndicates operating alongside China and other corrupt regimes.
The delivery of billions of taxpayer dollars intended to help vulnerable Americans into the hands of overseas criminal groups isn’t just a moral outrage. It enhances their ability to spread crime and corruption worldwide, directly threatening US national security. Washington must act decisively to recover the stolen funds — and deliver justice to those responsible.
Pre-pandemic, US unemployment benefits had never been a particularly attractive target for foreign scammers. The relatively small amounts of money involved, bureaucratic hurdles and risk of exposure to US law enforcement generally made it not worth the effort.
But the dispersal of such colossal sums, especially without any of the oversight mechanisms usually associated with large spending programs, suddenly rendered industrial-scale unemployment fraud a viable and lucrative prospect. States’ antiquated systems for administering benefits securely left them unable to detect rampant identity theft, while the rushed embrace of riskier platforms, like online-payment apps and prepaid-debit cards, made things even easier. As one official put it, “The system was the victim of what is one of the largest Internet crimes in history, perpetrated against all 50 states at extraordinary levels.” --->READ MORE HERE
AP Photo/Andy Wong
Feds pay billions to fraudsters tied to China and Russia in COVID-19 schemes:
Preventable foreign-fraud schemes netted $175 billion, much of it going to governments
As the coronavirus pandemic raged, Uncle Sam was doing more than putting money in unemployed Americans’ pockets — the federal government was also shipping tens of billions of dollars overseas to fraudsters working with the country’s most prominent adversaries, such as China and Russia.
Haywood Talcove, CEO for LexisNexis Risk Solutions’ government division, says 40% of the more than $700 billion spent on unemployment went to fraudsters.
Most of that ill-gotten money — $175 billion of it — went to overseas actors. And most of that, perhaps $140 billion, went to organizations that are state-sponsored.
“It makes me mad that there hasn’t been enough oversight, that the tools that are needed when you’re distributing this type of money aren’t in place,” Mr. Talcove told The Washington Times. “It allows our adversaries, the Russians, the Chinese, the Nigerians, the Romanians, to use that money to hurt our country.”
He said the money lost to fraud could have provided $160,000 to each individual in the country below the poverty line. Or it could have paid a Harvard University-level tuition for four years for every 18-year-old in the country.
Instead, it ended up in the hands of criminals, from low-level grifters to sophisticated government-backed syndicates. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to related stories and resources:

+++++Lawmakers fume over U.S. pandemic relief funds pilfered by crime gangs in China, Russia+++++

Omicron variant spreads to six more US states, bringing total to 11

USA TODAY: Coronavirus Updates

WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

YAHOO NEWS: Coronavirus Live Updates

NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus The Latest

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