Source: Tyler Durden

When it comes to government waste, we’ve seen some pretty big numbers recently – including $80 billion worth of military equipment that was left behind in Afghanistan just months ago.

But trumping that number, according to the Secret Service, is more than $100 billion that was stolen from pandemic relief funds. The $100 billion figure is “at a minimum,” a new report from AP says.

The estimate is based on “Secret Service cases and data from the Labor Department and the Small Business Administration,” the report says.

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“The sheer size of the [$3.4 trillion dispersed] is enticing to the criminals”, said Roy Dotson, the agency’s national pandemic fraud recovery coordinator.

A majority of the figure comes from unemployment fraud, the report notes. About $87 billion in benefits may have been paid out improperly, The Labor Department says.

So far, the Secret Service has seized over $1.2 billion while investigating unemployment insurance and loan fraud. It has returned more than $2.3 billion in fraudulently obtained funds and has more than 900 active criminal investigations into pandemic fraud.

100 people have been arrested as a result of their investigations so far, the report notes.

Meanwhile, the DOJ has seized more than $75 million in cash from improper PPP loans, it continues.

Dotson concluded, telling AP: “Can we stop fraud? Will we? No, but I think we can definitely prosecute those that need to be prosecuted and we can do our best to recover as much fraudulent pandemic funds that we can.”