Biden releases proposal to tackle pandemic relief fraud
(NewsNation) — President Joe Biden released a proposal to crack down on widespread pandemic relief fraud totaling billions of dollars, targeting thieves who stole crucial Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans from businesses struggling to stay afloat during the shutdowns.
The president has asked Congress to help with these efforts, even though the House has already kicked off investigations of its own.
Billions of American taxpayer dollars have been squandered and the nation has seen its highest levels of identity theft ever due to pandemic loan abuse.
The three-part proposal asks for $600 million to investigate and prosecute the criminals who preyed on people by tripling the COVID-19 fraud strike force teams under the DOH and increasing the statute of limitations to 10 years for serious, systemic pandemic fraud.
In addition, the plan will invest $600 million in prevention programs and $400 million to flag and stop potentially fraudulent transactions before they occur, as well as better report crimes on IdentityTheft.gov.
Biden asked Congress to send him legislation on this issue that House Republicans held a hearing on a month ago, hoping for bipartisan support on Capitol Hill.
A government watchdog group recently found $5.4 billion in federal COVID-19 aid might have gone to businesses tied to questionable Social Security numbers.