Federal officials have filed several lawsuits against convicted criminals who received COVID-19 relief funds, according to a new report by Fox News.
When Congress approved the relief checks, the bill did not include any language preventing convicted criminals who are currently incarcerated from receiving the money. When the Senate was debating the American Rescue Plan of 2021, Senators Bill Cassidy, Tom Cotton, and Ted Cruz offered an amendment to prevent prisoners from getting a $1,400 relief check, but it failed on a party-line vote.
“Senate Democrats blocked my amendment to prevent prisoners, like the Boston Marathon bomber, from receiving government stimulus checks,” Cassidy said in a statement last week to Fox News Digital. “It is an insult to victims.”
Last week, there was outrage when it was revealed that one of the men responsible for the Boston Marathon terror attack received a stimulus check but owes over $100 million in restitution to his victims. A few days after the story went viral, a judge ordered the money to be taken out of his account.
The federal government has filed similar lawsuits against other prisoners, trying to ensure the relief money goes to the victims of the crimes. The lawsuits started over the summer and have been filed against people like Anthony Robinson, who is serving a life sentence for killing two people, and Yancey Myers, who was sentenced to 30 years in prison for selling heroin.
In those cases, and several others reviewed by Fox News, the judges sided with the government and ordered the incarcerated individuals to use their stimulus checks to pay their court-ordered restitution.