States Recover $2 Billion as Secret Service Probes Covid Fraud


© Bloomberg. The U.S. Treasury Department building in Washington, D.C., U.S., on Tuesday, April 27, 2021. President Biden and House Democrats are clashing over how much to prioritize an extension of an expanded tax credit for parents. Photographer: Stefani Reynolds/Bloomberg


(Bloomberg) — States recovered about $2 billion of pandemic-related funds that were previously fraudulently acquired by criminals over the past year, according to the Secret Service.

The big jump in unemployment insurance benefits made the relief program “a target for those seeking to defraud government programs,” said Acting Inspector General of the Labor Department Larry Turner.

Small businesses at the start of the pandemic quickly became targets for fraud because of the lax application requirements and security checks. House Democrats identified nearly $84 billion in potential fraud, and said in March that the U.S had only recouped 1% of that amount.

©2021 Bloomberg L.P.

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