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12/27/2021

$100 billion stolen in pandemic relief funds, Secret Service says

Los Angeles Times

Nearly $100 billion or more has been stolen from COVID-19 relief programs set up to help businesses and people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic, the U.S. Secret Service said.

The estimate is based on Secret Service cases and data from the Labor Department and the Small Business Administration, said Roy Dotson, the agency’s national pandemic fraud recovery coordinator, in an interview Tuesday. The Secret Service didn’t include COVID-19 fraud cases prosecuted by the Justice Department.

While roughly 3% of the $3.4 trillion dispersed, the amount stolen from pandemic benefits programs, shows “the sheer size of the pot is enticing to the criminals,” Dotson said.

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