Monday, March 13, 2023

Inspectors General Estimate $276 Billion of Fraud, Waste in Pandemic Relief Funds: ‘Biggest Fraud in a Generation’; Michigan Unemployment Worker Admits She Stole $300K in COVID-19 Aid, and other C-Virus related stories

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Inspectors General Estimate $276 Billion of Fraud, Waste in Pandemic Relief Funds: ‘Biggest Fraud in a Generation’:
At least $276 billion designated as “COVID-19 relief funding” was lost via “fraud” and “waste,” according to cumulative estimates from the inspectors general of the Labor Department, Treasury Department, and Small Business Administration (SBA) shared on Thursday in testimony before a House Oversight and Accountability subcommittee in Washington, D.C.
Larry Turner, inspector general for the Labor Department, estimated that $76 billion slated for “unemployment insurance” was deployed via fraudulent claims. He described the $76 billion fraud assessment as “on the low end” given that it did not include an analysis of money deployed via the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program established in 2020.
Inspectors General Testify on COVID-19 Relief Funds at House Oversight – LIVE on CSPAN3

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Turner expressed skepticism on recovery of misappropriated funds after Rep. Greg Casar (D-TX) considered a net revenue benefit to the government via possible pursuit of “fraudsters.”
“You expect that the investments we make in pursuing that kind of fraud, we’re going get more than that amount of money back,” Casar stated. --->READ MORE HERE
Michigan unemployment worker admits she stole $300K in COVID-19 aid:
A Detroit woman who was hired to help process unemployment claims during the pandemic has admitted she used her job to steal more than $300,000 from taxpayers — money that was supposed to help keep people afloat during the unprecedented COVID-19 crisis.
Semaje Reffigee, 26, who worked from home as a contractor for the Michigan unemployment agency, pleaded guilty Wednesday to wire fraud conspiracy, admitting she pulled off an inside job that bilked $313,497 from the government.
According to court documents, Reffigee was hired by the state in October 2020 to review, process and verify that unemployment claims were legitimate. But over the next seven months, records show, she would go rogue, using her access to the agency's database to access and approve 34 fraudulent claims submitted by others.
They weren't strangers. They were in cahoots with one another.
According to court records, here is how the scheme worked:
Reffigee's cohorts would submit phony unemployment claims by computer to the unemployment agency, using the names of people whose identities they had stolen or names that they had entirely made up. Her accomplices would lie on applications for unemployment benefits, pretending they had lost their jobs due to COVID-19, using fake documents to support the claims. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to relevant/related stories and resources:

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WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

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NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus The Latest

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