Wednesday, February 8, 2023

Tens of Thousands of Federal Employees Bilked Government of Pandemic Cash; $5.4 Billion in Pandemic Loans were Paid to Suspicious Social Security Numbers, and other C-Virus related stories

AP Photo/Amanda Andrade-Rhoades
Tens of thousands of federal employees bilked government of pandemic cash:
Tens of thousands of federal employees stole taxpayers’ money by filing bogus pandemic loan requests.
Sen. Joni Ernst wants each of them fired.
“I hope this money can be recovered, and, to deter those who might ever think of trying to do this again in the future, those who abused the public trust will have their federal employment terminated,” the Iowa Republican said in a letter to Michael E. Horowitz, the inspector general leading the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee.
The employees were flagged by the committee’s Pandemic Analytics Center of Excellence, a data-driven attempt to sniff out fraud in the trillions of dollars of pandemic assistance that the federal government has paid out over the past three years.
PACE built a database of all pandemic loan applications filed with the Small Business Administration, matched it to lists of federal employees and came up with leads to investigate. It then worked with inspector general offices in various federal agencies to follow up.
“So far, this analysis has helped six agency OIGs match tens of thousands of employees with SBA loans for which they were not eligible,” PACE’s overseers at the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee said last month in a report to Congress.
Ms. Ernst tapped the double-dipping federal employees for her “Squeal award,” which she bestows on wasteful government spending. The award is derived from a campaign commercial in which Ms. Ernst, who grew up on an Iowa farm where she castrated pigs, vowed to take her skills to Washington and make the big spenders “squeal.” --->READ MORE HERE
AP Photo/Keith Srakocic
$5.4 billion in pandemic loans were paid to suspicious Social Security numbers:
The government doled out nearly 100,000 pandemic loans to people whose applications were filed using suspect Social Security numbers, government investigators revealed Monday.
The suspicious applications were awarded $5.4 billion from the Small Business Administration.
Investigators said the bogus payments appear to have been made early on, when the Trump administration was eager to pump money into the economy and worried less about controls of fraudulent claims. Applicants weren’t even checked against the Treasury Department’s “Do Not Pay” list.
Controls got better as the initial shock of the pandemic wore off. But by then, much of the money was already out the door, according to the Pandemic Response Accountability Council, the consortium of inspectors general that has been tasked with policing the spending.
“The PRAC identified $5.4 billion in potential identity fraud associated with 69,323 questionable and unverified SSNs used across disbursed COVID-19 EIDL and PPP applications — that is, applications that successfully received a loan and/or grant,” the PRAC said in its report.
Through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and the Paycheck Protection Program, SBA received more than 33 million applications and doled out nearly $1.2 trillion in loans. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to relevant/related stories and resources:

Watchdog identifies $5 billion in potential COVID aid fraud

Sketchy Social Security Numbers Possibly Landed Billions in Covid Aid

USA TODAY: Coronavirus Updates

WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

YAHOO NEWS: Coronavirus Live Updates

NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus The Latest

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