Thursday, September 7, 2023

GOP Demands Answers on 'billions' in COVID Relief Aid that went to 'international' criminals; DOJ: 371 Charged with Stealing $836M in COVID Funds – Including Gang Members Who Paid for Murder, and other C-Virus related stories

GOP demands answers on 'billions' in COVID relief aid that went to 'international' criminals:
Wenstrup cited reports that criminals in Russia, China and Nigeria took US aid
House Oversight’s COVID-19 subcommittee is demanding to know what the Justice Department is doing about the billions of dollars in COVID-19 pandemic aid that was allegedly stolen by "international" criminals.
Subcommittee chair Rep. Brad Wenstrup, R-Ohio, wrote a letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland requesting a full rundown of how many COVID relief dollars were stolen "by international actors or organizations," including which countries, and how many of those instances the Department of Justice (DOJ) is looking into.
His panel is also seeking an analysis of how many Americans were impacted by the fraud and any DOJ communications related to officials’ efforts to crack down on it.
"This massive growth in government spending caused inflation and expanded the government to unprecedented levels," Wenstrup said, referring to the $4.6 trillion spent on the U.S. COVID-19 response as of the beginning of this year.
"Worse still, these costly COVID-19-era programs were rife with waste, fraud and abuse. Criminals inside and outside the United States stole approximately $280 billion in taxpayer funds intended for struggling families, businesses, hospitals and others."
He cited a report that some of those stolen funds were taken by foreign actors committing identity theft. --->READ MORE HERE
371 charged with stealing $836M in COVID funds – including gang members who paid for murder: DOJ:
A staggering 371 Americans have been charged with stealing roughly $836 million in COVID relief funds — including gang members who used the money to hire hitmen, the Justice Department announced Wednesday.
The charges were the result of a three-month-long joint investigation conducted by law enforcement agencies across the nation from May through July, according to the DOJ.
The department has focused on “bringing to justice those who stole from American businesses and families at a time of national emergency,” Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco said.
Sixty-three of those facing charges include gang members and defendants with connections to violent crimes.
Some used the funds — meant to help struggling citizens and business owners — were used to pay for murder-for-hire plots, acting director of the COVID-19 fraud enforcement task force Michael Galdo said.
Many of the alleged fraudsters misused pandemic unemployment insurance benefits as well as funds from Small Business Administration programs including the Paycheck Protection Program and economic injury disaster loans, according to the Justice Department.
Overall, the DOJ has seized more than $1.4 billion in misused pandemic-era relief funds and charged more than 3,000 Americans with crimes related to the fraud since it began investigating such corruption. --->READ MORE HERE
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