What happens when a country is shut down and then given trillions in aid? Sky-high inflation and massive fraud and theft result. The Wall Street Journal reports that the Labor Department lost $45 billion in unemployment funds, while the NY Post thinks the total loss from all relief programs is $600 billion. In comparison, our military budget for 2022 is $778 billion.
“COVID fraud” is at this point a redundant phrase. Congress appropriated more than $5 trillion for COVID relief but almost $600 billion may have been lost to fraud — an astounding 12%. Washington’s pandemic pratfalls are the greatest federal boondoggle of this century.
Will Congress help? Not while the majority rules.
Justice has taken note. They stopped raiding regime opponents' houses last month to form Fraud Strike Force Teams in Sacramento/San Francisco, Baltimore, and Miami.
According to a Sept. 14 DOJ press release:
Attorney General Merrick B. Garland: "These Strike Force teams will build on the Department’s historic enforcement efforts to deter, detect, and disrupt pandemic fraud wherever it occurs.” “Since the start of this pandemic, the Justice Department has seized over $1.2 billion in relief funds that criminals were attempting to steal, and charged over 1,500 defendants with crimes in federal districts across the country, but our work is far from over. The Department will continue to work relentlessly to combat pandemic fraud and hold accountable those who perpetrate it.”
It may be too late. You may have thought those "Nigerian prince" emails were ridiculous, but NBC News reported in August on unregulated overseas thievery.
Officials and analysts say Russian mobsters, Chinese hackers, and Nigerian scammers exploited stolen identities to steal tens of billions of dollars in Covid benefits and send the money offshore. They say it continues.
Inspector General of Labor Department figures on unemployment benefits:
Fraudulent claimants in multiple states pocketed $29 billion. Scammers who utilized questionable email services to mask identities stole $16 billion. Scammers exploiting the Social Security numbers of ineligible federal prisoners and dead Americans made $400 million extra.
NBC News: "Staggering" COVID-19 fraud scheme leads to the arrest of 47 people for stealing cash to help feed needy kids.
Prosecutors allege $250 million stolen for luxury cars, fancy, homes and even coastal property in Kenya.
— Tom Winter (@Tom_Winter) September 20, 2022
Wall Street Journal: House Republicans sponsored anti-fraud legislation this summer, but Democrats didn't act. Dems are focused on handing out cash, not tracking where it goes. What's a little voter fraud if you win?
The Journal's unimpressed.
It's one of the biggest tax heists ever. The Democrats' failure to investigate and stop leaks is an abdication of Congress' role to ensure government competence. They prioritize sending out more money. (Italics mine)
Many crimes have been committed, and billions of money are likely lost. The actual crime began when state, local, and federal governments shut down the country and began a spending spree for the ages. Every day, fraud and inflation steal Americans of their hard-earned money, and we all suffer.
The preceding is a summary of an article that originally appeared on REDSTATE.