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Massive Fraud Follows COVID Spending Spree

Posted on Tuesday, April 27, 2021
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by AMAC Newsline
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84 Comments

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A little over a year has passed since the federal government started pumping trillions of dollars into the economy in the form of stimulus checks, boosted unemployment checks, and the Paycheck Protection Program. And a little over a year has passed since fraudsters started hitting paydirt.

When the Inspector General of the US Department of Labor (DOL) announced in March that his office estimates that $63 BILLION in improper payments were made in the unemployment program alone since the pandemic began, US Rep. Kevin Brady (R-TX) described it as an “epidemic of fraud.”

He also pointed out that the $63 billion lost “is larger than the entire budget of the Department of Homeland Security.”

Yet that might be the low end. Others have estimated the amount lost may be as high as $200 billion.

Unemployment scammers have worked hard in at least one way. Month in and month out, they’ve produced the most colorful stories of fraud during the pandemic.

From the Nigerian fraud ring that stole hundreds of millions of dollars from Washington State’s Employment Security Department to a California rapper named Nuke Bizzle who made a music video about stealing unemployment benefit cards before officials arrested him, the unemployment program’s vulnerability has inspired creative criminals.  The Foundation for Government Accountability has been keeping track of unemployment fraud and published a top 10 list of the most egregious fraud cases last year.

Unfortunately for businesses that pay unemployment insurance costs, the fraud is rampant, widespread, and showing no signs of slowing down.

But unemployment is not the only kind of fraud that’s gotten much worse. It might not even be the most expensive.

Medicaid’s improper payment rate, which is driven by fraud, exploded from less than 15 percent in 2019 (already an outrageous number) to over 21 percent in 2020. That translates to more than $85 BILLION in Medicaid fraud or almost the entire budget for the Department of Transportation.

Much of this is either willingly tolerated by the left or even planned. When Congress passed the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) in March of 2020, it restricted states from removing almost any enrollee from Medicaid, even if they become ineligible or commit fraud.

And Medicaid already had other provisions, like hospital presumptive eligibility, characterized by some as “fraud by design.”

The pandemic has only exacerbated many of these longstanding problems. The FBI’s Atlanta Field Office, for example, discovered a man who stole the identities of thousands of children when they signed up for after-school programs like football camp and charged state Medicaid programs for fake mental health services he never performed.

Beyond the existing unemployment and Medicaid programs, the federal government created several new programs during the pandemic, which have only generated new forms of fraud.

Congress and the Trump Administration designed the Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, to infuse easily-forgiven loans into small businesses to keep payrolls afloat. But that’s not always where the money has gone or what it was used for.

In Minnesota, a man forged documents and bought a Harley Davidson. Another man in Florida took $3.9 million in loans from the Paycheck Protection Program and bought a sports car worth more than $300,000, among other things.

By January of this year, over $340 million in attempted fraud was perpetrated through PPP.

And, of course, the IRS has warned the public from the very beginning about multiple, ongoing scams related to the economic impact payments, or stimulus checks, the agency has processed during the pandemic.

If money is the root of all evil, the federal government’s yearlong pandemic spending spree seems to have planted quite a few seeds.

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Lawanna
Lawanna
2 years ago

“LOVE” of money is the root of all evil ‘money’ itself is NOT evil.

chuck
chuck
2 years ago

Your last paragraph states “If MONEY is the root of all evil”. This is a false statement if you are referring to the bible verse found at 1 Timothy 6:10. That clearly says the it is “the LOVE of money”. Clearly the elitists of the left LOVE MONEY more than humanity.

PaulE
PaulE
2 years ago

“If money is the root of all evil, the federal government’s yearlong pandemic spending spree seems to have planted quite a few seeds.” Money is no more evil than anything else. Would you say a gun is evil, if someone used one to commit a crime? No of course not. Would you say a car is evil, if one were involved in an accident? Again, of course not. Money, like anything else, is merely a tool used to achieve a task.

Jeff Noncent
Jeff Noncent
2 years ago

It’s all Demonic point and simple

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
2 years ago

More waste, see CAGW.org for more since 1980s.
Lost money we can USE

Brenda Blunt
Brenda Blunt
2 years ago

There has to be a way to get this money returned and punish those that did it! There has to be consequences!

Silver Streak
Silver Streak
2 years ago

Oh, PLEASE! If you want to knit-pick the verbiage, you can put “the LOVE of money” in that last paragraph, it still says the same thing. If these people didn’t love money, they would not commit fraud to get it! I firmly believe the Dems are attempting to make slaves of the people by feeding them all this “free” money, and most are too blind to even see it. Just like the Israelites during the famine, they will end up being will to sell their children to get more and more from the government! Well, sooner or later the government is going to run out of money and then what? I guess China will become our Egypt and rescue us by taking over our country!

Fairfield 59
Fairfield 59
2 years ago

Great article. It is amazing to me how employers cannot find employees and we are still handing money out like candy. If these scammers would put half of their effort into good efforts, it would help this country to get back on its feet so much faster.

Jody McDonough
Jody McDonough
2 years ago

“If money is the root of all evil…” Absolutely incorrect application of this long standing moral statement. “The LOVE of money is the root of all evil.” 1 Timothy 6:10 Money alone cannot institute and perpetuate evil. It takes selfish desire and the planning of a sinful person to activate the subsequent evil of loving something other than the goodness and righteousness of our one true God.

Art A
Art A
2 years ago

We send plenty of money to other countries with no strings/accountability attached. The barbarians were the gates just waiting for the cash to flow. Just imagine how much more will turn up missing. Excuse me. I believe the truckload of Benjamins is being offloaded into my garage under my fake name. Time to fine tune my vacation plans.

TPS
TPS
2 years ago

Giving out free money with no checks and balances gives way to fraud and people not wanting to go back to work, how shocking! Wasting taxpayer money is what our government seems to be all about along with dividing us into groups defined by hate. Time, we hold them accountable for their divide and conquer attitudes.

Kenneth D.
Kenneth D.
2 years ago

What else is new? Any time th federal government begins printing or handing out debt money in massive amounts, it’s a field day for the dishonest and thieves who thrive at the public trough. All government giveaway programs should be administered locally the the community or state levels with federal oversight. The federal government is much too far removed and negligent when it comes to financial administrative matters. This is one of the reason the Founder limited the role of the federal government in all matters other than security, national defense and currency.

Chris
Chris
2 years ago

The love of money is the root of all evil.

John Karkalis
John Karkalis
2 years ago

The scammers and con artists are with us always.
They have been with us ever since the serpent tempted Adam and Eve. The consequences were very serious for them, indeed. And so it is with us today.
Unfortunately government attempts to minimize fraud have little effect (except to breed even larger, more costly bureaucracies).
Easier to square the circle or invent a perpetual motion machine than eliminate fraud from well-intentioned programs.

the rebel
the rebel
2 years ago

If you want any program totally FUBAR—————————-turn it over to the federal government.
In a very short period of time——————————–it will be out of control !!!!

Carla
Carla
2 years ago

There is no oversight in the government, that’s why this happens. Wait until they try to put everyone on a single payer health program, there will be even more rampant fraud and they won’t do anything about it.

RJ from Az
RJ from Az
2 years ago

Very easy to spend and waste other people’s money.

Tony Robe
Tony Robe
2 years ago

I remember for years while I was a bookkeeper for a manufacturing company, my dealings with the IRS were pure hell. They asked me repeated questions and now matter what I said or IRS forms I completed listing me as an agent for my company to speak for them with the IRS. I wasn’t asking to receive money, I was trying to give them money to correct past forms. On several occasions I stated that I was not asking for money, so why were they giving me identification questions to someone requesting how to GIVE them money. I finally quit and started my own business. Let someone else get these headaches.

David B.
David B.
2 years ago

YOUR Gooberment is chock-full of grifters and con-men. They couldn’t care less about our well-being- just keep handing over an ever-larger portion of your personal wealth and maybe they’ll leave you alone for now.

‘Nonymous
‘Nonymous
2 years ago

Screw baseball! Fraud would appear to be the new National pass time!

David Spade
David Spade
2 years ago

The Federal Government is probably the most inefficient “business” ever invented. It is so large that they seem to “accept” a certain level of fraud. There are so many individual cases of fraud against the government that there is no possible way for all of the con artists to be investigated. When a problem exists in this country, the Feds simply throw good money out the window and hope that someone might be helped in some small way. When they do catch someone, there is probably leniency shown to the poor defenseless con artist. Our prisons should be full of these folks, and maybe some government officials, as well.

Gray
Gray
2 years ago

President Trump fixed a lot for Medicaid to be better but Biden reversed all of it. The testing they are doing now under this administration in certain states in regard to Medicaid is an attempt to get people to drop original Medicaid for Medicare Advantage where you can’t pick just any Dr you want. Biden also wants to cut Medicaid. A lot of bad things happening.

Myrna S Wade
Myrna S Wade
2 years ago

This is an excellent commentary, ending with a great metaphor Well done.

Tim Thompson
Tim Thompson
2 years ago

How do you think the Democrats have so much money to pass around to their friends! Hell lets face it Hillary lost 8 billion while she was Secretary of State did anyone try to see where that went, of course not Obama was President and covered for her. Seems every time Democrats are in power accounting goes out the window because they pass trillion dollar money grabs so go figure!

Garye
Garye
2 years ago

Well I’m betting NO corrupt democrat donors are complaining!

Surely joebama and commie harris are taking care of them and themselves!
It’s America that’s being fleeced.

Charlotte A Mahin
Charlotte A Mahin
2 years ago

What? Fraud in the use of Federal funds? Unfortunately, all the Democrats want to do to “fix’ a problem is throw more money on the “fire”. No overseeing, so most of it goes into politicians’ pockets. Since Biden came along, I feel he is paying off his supporters by doling out lots of our money. It is disgusting to see our country deteriorating so quickly.

Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
Kyle Buy you some guns,and learn how to shoot
2 years ago

The U,. S. money handling system is a joke.

Bill
Bill
2 years ago

Fraud, Why the democrats thrive on fraud and hold no one is accountable..

Blcassady
Blcassady
2 years ago

When the people at the top of the system are corrupt, how can you expect any different result than the rampant fraud on the operational level?

Felix
Felix
2 years ago

What a mess!!! To get unemployment – Do you have to show that you applied for work and was turned down? Where I live, businesses have help wanted signs everywhere, could it be that people make more money collecting, than working? Something needs to happen soon, or this country will not survive, the federal government cannot keep spending money that it has absolutely no way to pay it back other than printing more of it.

Elysummers
Elysummers
2 years ago

We Are Doomed.

John Karkalis
John Karkalis
2 years ago

“Astronomical disfunction and waste” understates the problem, Patriot Will.
The sense of entitlement for those things we really don’t need points to a society of self-absorbed narcissists, rather than a community of citizens.
It would seem to this chemistry major that the 2nd Law of Thermodynamics, the law of “entropy” is at work here and that all organized structures eventually fragment.
I am opened to any alternative thought that gives me hope.
One wonders how long we can live on the dole without a sense of personal responsibility.

Stolen ID
Stolen ID
2 years ago

Twice last year, I received letters in the mail concerning “my” unemployment claims…both of them. I never missed any work during the “lockdowns.” When I called to report the fraudulent claims, the woman I spoke to with the Illinois Department of Employment Security could’ve cared less. I was pissed. First because someone is claiming to be me, but then because the government agency that is supposed to be fighting this doesn’t give a damn about it!

Mimi
Mimi
2 years ago

I didn’t find the article enlightening in any way. Any time the government gets their hands in our pockets, it’s usually for programs to buy votes for when the next election comes up. The rules for accountability on the folks that are scamming the system, just don’t seem to exist. They just give it away with both hands, and don’t worry about what happens after it leaves the coffers. This has been going on for generations. We pay, and the politicians play!! So sad but not likely to change anytime soon. ????

D.P.
D.P.
2 years ago

Fraud….and why would we expect this not to happen? Thieves abound. Honesty and forthrightness are lost commodities. The government sets the worst example in and of itself. How forthright and honest has our government been to begin with? Why would it not follow that when billions are on the table, someone would do the snatch and grab that has plagued our system for generations? Our congressional leaders have their hands in the pocket of every taxpayer…..all legal and equally immoral.
If your leaders are corrupt, why would we expect those who are being led, not to follow suit? Yet another stone in the rucksack the regular citizen has to tote around with little or no recourse. The politians claim they will go after this problem…..an incessant and repeated claim that never seems to be carried out…..same old song, different singers. Perhaps it would be better just to give every citizen a million dollars and call it a day. D.P.

Deb
Deb
2 years ago

Please quote the Bible correctly “For the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil’. Let’s not do what the other side does and twist things to suit their own purpose! Otherwise we are no better or accurate than them.

Ray Paradee
Ray Paradee
2 years ago

that 63 billion could have helped our veterans a lot

Joe from Las Vegas Nevada
Joe from Las Vegas Nevada
2 years ago

Of course, because you did not have to show any I.D. to participate in the PPP, you just file, and they send the $$$. If they made you show I.D., that would be Racist!!!!!!! 🙂

Suzyq
Suzyq
2 years ago

This is disgusting.

Katja Kirsch
Katja Kirsch
2 years ago

I am just shocked. NOT. Some of our own government people are involved in some form of scamming.

Robert
Robert
2 years ago

Fraud with a democratic run program? Nah I don’t believe. Can’t be so.

Garye
Garye
2 years ago

The communist, Marxist, actions of jobama, commie harris and corrupt democrats are now at Citizens doors.
Giuliani residence raided by federal agents because of support for President Trump and alerting Americans to election fraud, he’s considered by them an enemy of the state.
Sound like china,rissia,Venezuela and other communists????
Wake up People , these traitors are after ending freedom.

HocasPocas
HocasPocas
2 years ago

If the democrats are involved in anything, it’s fraud from the get go

Paul
Paul
2 years ago

Money is NOT the root of all evil…..the abuse of money IS!!!

Patty
Patty
2 years ago

???? A “Crime Syndicate” is at our helm, holding Americans hostage… as they are making the most of this ‘viral crisis’ to further their agenda to strip all of us of our freedoms and establish themselves as the ultimate authority… for the sole purpose of controlling us in every way to eliminate middle class America & institute a 2-Class Society. The privileged rich & all other being relegated to lives of “serfdom”! We have digressed back into the Medieval Days of Europe.

Karen
Karen
2 years ago

Honesty along with morals are destroying the country. There has to be a way to stop all of this. However, I believe the good people will prevail. Democrats…..think about what you are doing. You have to eventually face our Lord.

Jim C.
Jim C.
2 years ago

1 Timothy 6:10 (NLT)10 For the love of money is the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the true faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows.

rich
rich
2 years ago

What do you do when the biggest fraud is at the head of our government?

Jerry
Jerry
2 years ago

The DemonRats are being careless , thieves with our money. I am 83 years old and they are yet to send my wife and I our stimulus checks.

John
John
2 years ago

It is just amazing how many dishonest people there are in this world. They have always been with us, and one step toward thwarting at least part of this thievery is to not vote Democrat. According to the article addressing this, some of this fraud may actually be planned; I don’t doubt it, cheating runs down one particular party line. A most disturbing article.

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