Friday, August 19, 2022

COVID Fraud Could Hit $163B, Experts Say; Man scammed $4 million in COVID funds — and paid off his Porsche, and other C-Virus related stories

COVID Fraud Could Hit $163B, Experts Say:
While 1,500 people have been charged with pandemic fraud and 450 have been convicted, investigators are still chasing down abundant leads in what could top $163 billion illegally siphoned from COVID unemployment insurance (UI) benefits alone.
A report from the Department of Labor’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) indicates that a minimum of $163 billion in UI benefits “could be improper, with a significant portion being attributed to fraud.”
The total fraud will likely increase, the OIG said. The three pandemic UI programs issued close to $655 billion in benefits.
Earlier this month President Joe Biden signed into law two bipartisan bills extending the statute of limitations for some pandemic-related fraud to 10 years.
“There are years and years and years of work ahead of us,” said Kevin Chambers, chief pandemic prosecutor for the Department of Justice, the New York Times reported on Wednesday (Aug. 17). “I’m confident that we’ll be using every last day of those 10 years.” --->READ MORE HERE
Matt Slocum/AP
Man scammed $4 million in COVID funds — and paid off his Porsche, feds say:
A man scammed banks into giving him more than $4 million in undeserved COVID-19 relief money — and paid off a loan he used to buy a Porsche among other personal expenses he splurged on, federal prosecutors say.
Moustapha Diakhate, 46, of Stamford, Connecticut, also bought himself a Mercedes and a BMW with the money meant to support small, struggling businesses during the pandemic, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut.
“Instead, through what the defense acknowledges was simple greed, he made repeated efforts to steal and literally did steal from banks far more than he would have been able to get through conventional bank robbery,” a sentencing court document states.
A judge sentenced Diakhate to 42 months in federal prison, on Tuesday, Aug. 16 after he swindled millions in relief money authorized under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act with his fraudulent loan applications, according to a news release from the attorney’s office.
“He tearfully expressed his remorse and shame at his sentencing hearing,” Diakhate’s attorney Jonathan Klein told McClatchy News over the phone. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to relevant/related stories and resources:

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USA TODAY: Coronavirus Updates

WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

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NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus The Latest

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