Criminals Have Stolen Nearly $100 Billion In COVID Relief Funds

The U.S. Secret Service is ramping up efforts to capture criminals that are targeting COVID relief funds. The agency said that fraudsters have stolen nearly $100 billion by targeting several initiatives, including the Paycheck Protection Program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, and federal and state unemployment insurance programs.

The agency named Assistant Special Agent in Charge Roy Dotson as the National Pandemic Fraud Recovery Coordinator and said he will spearhead “investigations into the fraudulent use of COVID-19 relief applications.”

The Secret Service said it has arrested 100 individuals accused of fraud and seized $1.2 billion. In addition, the agency said it has recovered $2.3 billion of the stolen funds.

“The Secret Service currently has more than 900 active criminal investigations into fraud specific to pandemic-related relief funds,” Dotson said in a statement. “That’s a combination of pandemic benefits and all the other benefits programs too. Every state has been hit, some harder than others. The Secret Service is hitting the ground running, trying to recover everything we can, including funds stolen from both federal and state programs.”

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