In the least surprising turn of events since the first round of COVID-19 stimulus funding was passed, the Secret Service has completed an investigation which shows that $100 billion of the various funding was taken fraudulently. Apparently having giant pots of money with almost 0 oversight is very appealing to criminals and opportunists.
According to reports from the Department of Labor, the majority of the stolen funds were from fraudulent unemployment claims. About $87 billion dollars was paid out to individuals who did not qualify for the unemployment boost, some of whom have been shown as malicious with over 100 individuals being arrested at this time.
The stolen $100 billion is only the tip of the iceberg in terms of the wasted funds from the COVID-19 stimulus bill. To begin with, these missing funds are just what could be proven. But additionally there have been reports of rampant misuse of funds by Governor’s and state officials where funding never made it its way down the pipeline to the local governments and citizens for which it was intended. The Department of Treasury does not pre-approve the spending of the states but does have oversight authority over how it ultimately makes its way to the American people. Some states have been prioritizing prison systems and state sponsored justice programs over health care. Some have been allowing large businesses to participate in small business grants and loans. State’s have to report how they spend all of their stimulus funding but most individuals, as they know, aren’t taking the time to look (you can review all reported spending here).
The story is still developing but its almost as if massive piles of federal stimulus money distributed at light speed might not be such a great idea.