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Act in Haste, Repent in Leisure
2022-12-07

            More reports keep coming out every day about COVID Relief funds falling into the wrong pockets.

            The latest report shows that Chinese government-linked hackers swiped at least $20 million in COVID relief funds from the US government.

            That money came from the Small Business Administration loans and unemployment insurance funds from more than a dozen states.  According to the Secret Service, half of that money has been recovered. 

            The group believed to be behind the theft is APT41, a state-sponsored hacker group in Chengdu, China.  They have been described as a Chinese state-sponsored, cyber threat group that is highly adept at conducting espionage missions and financial crimes for personal gain.  In fact, five its members have been indicted by federal prosecutors.  They have not, and probably never will be, extradited to the U.S.

            It is believed that this is the first time that the group has targeted U.S. government money.

            In another case, three men in Ohio have been charged with receiving $7 million in COVID relief funds.  They created 70 fake businesses and most of those businesses received loans of $150,000.

            The list goes on and on to a sickening level.

            The Small Business Administration's office of Inspector General reported in August that it had identified an estimated $87 billion in potential fraud in the Economic Injury Disaster Loans program.  A whopping 20 percent of the $390 billion disbursed.  Also, it was reported that as much as $80 billion of the $800 billion handed out in another COVID relief plan known as the Paycheck Protection Program fell into the wrong hands.

            NBC news reported that fraudsters may have taken as much $400 billion from the $900 billion COVID unemployment relief program in 2021.

            According to a recent report, the Secret Service said it is investigating more than 1,000 possible instances of both foreign and domestic criminals stealing public benefits.  That's not counting the ones they already found and the ones they never will.

            Recovering what is now estimated to be billions of dollars stolen from COVID Relief funds is a task that will take years with most violations never found and most money never recovered.

            The federal government needs to do a better job when setting up programs to insure that they are administered properly and stop making excuses for not doing so.  Do that for the sake of the taxpayers who will be paying the bills for decades to come.

            Act in hast and repent in leisure does not bode well for a promising future for our federal finances.  It's sad because the taxpayers will be the ones stuck with the bill and the regret.

           


 

 

 

 

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