Monday, October 3, 2022

Covid Fraud Hits $45.6 Billion: As the theft total mounts, Democrats in Congress refuse to do anything about it; States spend federal COVID aid on roads, buildings, seawalls, and other C-Virus related stories

Photo: Kevin Dietsch/Getty Images
WSJ: Covid Fraud Hits $45.6 Billion:
As the theft total mounts, Democrats in Congress refuse to do anything about it
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 of $45.6 billion. That’s three times what the U.S. has spent to help Ukraine fend off Russia.
The various benefit scams are well-known, and the IG revised upward the tallies of each category. Individuals who fraudulently claimed benefits in more than one state got away with $29 billion. Con artists who used suspicious email services designed to hide identities have claimed at least $16 billion. Swindlers using the Social Security numbers of ineligible federal prisoners and dead Americans landed some $400 million more.
The IG blames the growing numbers on the Labor Department’s Employment and Training Administration (ETA), which is responsible for unemployment benefits. The memo says the IG in February 2021 identified high-risk areas and recommended ETA work with state agencies to develop fraud controls, as well as coax Congress to pass legislation requiring state agencies to cross-match high-risk areas.
Yet 19 months later, the memo reports, “ETA has not taken sufficient action” which “significantly increases the risk of even more [unemployment] payments to ineligible claimants.” --->READ MORE HERE
John Hanna / Associated Press
States spend federal COVID aid on roads, buildings, seawalls:
Standing 14 stories tall, the Docking State Office Building is one of Kansas’ largest and oldest state workplaces. It’s also largely vacant, despite a prime location across from the state Capitol in Topeka.
So Kansas officials are planning to spend $60 million of federal pandemic relief funds to help finance its demolition and replace it with a slimmed-down, three-story building designed to host meetings and events.
State officials categorized the project as a “public health service” in a report to the U.S. Treasury Department laying out their plans for the money. Though that may be a stretch, it’s likely fine under the American Rescue Plan — a sweeping law signed by President Biden last year that provides broad flexibility for $350 billion of aid to state and local governments.
The aid was promoted by Democrats in Congress as an unprecedented infusion for cash-strapped governments to respond to the coronavirus, rebuild their economies and shore up their finances. But it came as state tax revenues already were rebounding, leaving many states with record surpluses and enviable decisions about what to do with all the money. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to relevant/related stories and resources:

Hundreds of DHS employees took pandemic unemployment aid even though they were working: Audit

CDC loosens mask mandates for health care facilities

USA TODAY: Coronavirus Updates

WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

YAHOO NEWS: Coronavirus Live Updates

NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus The Latest

If you like what you see, please "Like" and/or Follow us on FACEBOOK here, GETTR here, and TWITTER here.

No comments: