Secret Service: Nearly $100B Stolen In Pandemic Relief Funds

FILE - Web pages used to show information for collecting unemployment insurance in Virginia, right, and reporting fraud and identity theft in Pennsylvania, are displayed on the respective state web pages, on Feb. 26, 2021, in Zelienople, Pa. The Secret Service said it has seized more than $1.2 billion while investigating unemployment insurance and loan fraud and has returned more than $2.3 billion of fraudulently obtained funds by working with financial partners and states to reverse transactions. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic, File)

The U.S. Secret Service says nearly $100 billion has been stolen from COVID-19 relief programs set up to help businesses and people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic. The staggering sum represents but a small percentage, less than 3%, of pandemic benefits program funds. The estimate is based on Secret Service cases and data from the Labor Department and the Small Business Administration. It doesn’t include cases handled by the Justice Department. Roy Dotson is the national pandemic fraud recovery coordinator for the Secret Service. He says his agency has more than 900 active criminal investigations into pandemic fraud.


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