(The Post Millennial) – The Secret Service has revealed that criminals have made off with nearly $100 billion since 2020 by exploiting the US’ COVID relief program.
The United States’ COVID relief program began in early 2020, and has since resulted in the spending of close to $3.5 trillion.
On Tuesday, the US Secret Service revealed that since the program’s inception, criminals have made off with around $100 billion. As CNBC reports, money was illegally diverted from the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and a third unemployment assistance program.
According to Roy Dotson, special agent and recently appointed “National Pandemic Fraud Recovery Coordinator,” there are currently more than 900 active investigations with ties to COVID relief funds. At the time of writing, over $2.3 billion has been recovered and 100 suspects have been arrested. Of that amount, over $400 million was recovered via PayPal and Green Dot.
Dotson explained that the programs were “easily accessible,” and that cases of fraud were committed by not only sophisticated criminal organizations, but individuals as well.
The United States’ COVID relief programs have been criticized for their lack of security. In August 2021, NBC reported that “Russian mobsters, Chinese hackers and Nigerian scammers” were stealing Americans’ identities and infiltrating the system. It has been described as “the biggest fraud ever perpetrated against the U.S.”