Estimates ranging from $100 billion to over $400 billion have been stolen from Covid-19 unemployment and other pandemic relief programs. The United States Labor Department reported that nearly $90 billion in unemployment benefits alone could have been paid improperly due to fraudulent activities, according to PBS NewsHour.
…Investigations have resulted in the seizure of millions of dollars and have assisted in the return of approximately $2 billion…
The story sounds like a script for an upcoming movie, starring George Clooney, in which an international collective of bad actors from around the world…and right here at home, wantonly looted unemployment funds earmarked for out-of-work Americans by perpetrating fraudulent claims. Unknowingly, naive Department of Labor workers sent out checks to bad guys.
Anyone who’s gone through the hassles of collecting unemployment checks will snicker at that bullshit last sentence.
It seems, in hindsight, political leaders knew about the possibility of fraud and theft, especially as the Payroll Protection Plan, a program to bailout small businesses, was co-opted by large corporations and other entities that were not entitled to participate.
The politicians turned a blind eye, as they felt money needed to get into the hands of the folks who were out of work and took the gamble that everything would work out well. Gene Sperling, a point person for President Joe Biden’s stimulus plan, blamed the fraud on Donald Trump’s administration, calling it “one of the most serious challenges we inherited…”
Big corporations stole funds from programs meant to aid ordinary working folks? Shock and amazement!