Thursday, February 2, 2023

Pandemic Fraud Gone Wild: Latest Estimate of Theft from Jobless Insurance Programs: $60 Billion; Crimestoppers Covid Hotline Shut Down Despite Billions Left Uncovered in Pandemic-era Fraud, and other C-Virus related stories

Photo: Anna Moneymaker/Getty Images
wsj: Pandemic Fraud Gone Wild:
Latest estimate of theft from jobless insurance programs: $60 billion
Government spending and fraud are regular dance partners, but rarely as cheek to cheek as they were with unemployment payments during the pandemic. A new report adds more evidence about the failure to protect taxpayers.
The Government Accountability Office this week released a review of the Labor Department’s handling of $878 billion in unemployment insurance handouts from April 2020 to September 2022. Labor estimates that fraud in its normal unemployment program hit $8.5 billion from July 2020 through June 2021. That’s 8.6% of outlays.
GAO extrapolated the lower bound of this fraud rate (7.6%) across the three additional unemployment programs Congress created for the pandemic, and it estimates taxpayers overall underwrote some $60 billion in fraudulent payments. This buttresses last year’s Labor Department Inspector General estimate of at least $45 billion in fraud. As GAO notes, Congress’s “unprecedented infusion of federal Covid-19 relief funds into UI programs during the pandemic gave individuals and organized crime groups a high value target to exploit.”
Take the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program, designed to help self-employed workers and independent contractors. Congress was so eager to hand out cash that for most of 2020 it allowed applicants to “self certify” their eligibility—requiring no documentation of self-employment. --->READ MORE HERE
Crimestoppers Covid hotline shut down despite billions left uncovered in pandemic-era fraud:
Closure signals end of Government’s fight against Covid-related fraudulent activity
The Crimestoppers Covid hotline has been shuttered as the Government downs tools in its fight against pandemic fraud.
The Cabinet Office has quietly closed the hotline despite warnings that billions of pounds in pandemic-era fraud has yet to be uncovered.
The telephone line was launched in October 2020 to allow people to anonymously report suspected fraudulent activity.
At the time, Cabinet Office minister Julia Lopez said: “Many people work hard to pay their taxes, so it’s a gross injustice that fraudsters are shamefully taking advantage of measures set up to help people during the lockdown.
“We cannot let criminals profit from the Covid crisis, as every pound stolen by fraudsters could be invested in our vital public services. This is why we are urging the public to report any information to the Crimestoppers Covid Fraud Hotline.” --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to relevant/related stories and resources:

Lender Popular Bank Fined Over Bad Covid Relief Loans

Biden, Democrats want face masks forever

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: