Monday, June 24, 2024

The Ongoing Deluge of Pandemic Unemployment Fraud Cases

By DOMINIC PINO, National Review, June 24, 2024 - ... The Covid pandemic resulted in the creation of new unemployment benefits with eligibility requirements that were not enforced. Now, law enforcement is trying to clean up lawmakers’ mess — still, and could keep doing so for years to come. ... [Congress] disbursed about $5 trillion in the economy with little to no safeguards against fraud. ...

The Department of Labor’s inspector general estimated in February 2023 that at least $191 billion in pandemic unemployment benefits were improper payments. “Improper payments” is an official government category that includes honest mistakes and fraud, but the inspector general acknowledged at the time that much of it was fraud. The Government Accountability Office estimated in September 2023 that one-seventh of all pandemic unemployment aid was taken by fraudsters. An Associated Press investigation from June 2023 estimated the total Covid-relief fraud and waste could be closer to half a trillion dollars. (link)

Rod's Comment: Read the article to see various examples of how people committed fraud. Unfortunately, I doubt either party, no matter who wins the upcoming Presidential election, will have the willpower to continue to prosecute the fraud. The program started under Trump and continued under Biden. Just because the government makes it easy to steal, does not make stealing right. I hope every person who took unemployment benefits illegally is required to make full restitution and those who engaged in large scale fraud should face prison. 

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