U.s. Watchdog Identifies $5.4 Billion In Potentially Fraudulent Covid ...

1/30/2023 by Brian Hamachek

A federal watchdog in the United States, the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC), has identified $5.4 billion in potentially fraudulent COVID-19 loans. The loans were disbursed between April 2020 and October 2022, and were obtained with 69,323 questionable Social Security Numbers (SSNs). Of the $5.4 billion, $3.6 billion were Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loans. The U.S. Justice Department has set up a COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force, and tapped federal prosecutor Kevin Chambers to lead the efforts to investigate fraudsters who used the pandemic as an excuse to bilk government assistance programs. In September, federal prosecutors charged dozens of defendants, who were accused of stealing $250 million from a government aid program. In 2021, the U.S. Small Business Administration made improvements to its assistance program controls to help reduce fraud.

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