By Stefan J. Bos, Chief International Correspondent Worthy News
WASHINGTON (Worthy News) – At least 163 billion dollars in coronavirus pandemic benefits handed out under U.S. President Joe Biden have been stolen or misspent, The Washington Post newspaper reports. The money may never be recovered.
The U.S. Labor Department estimated there could have been “at least” $163 billion in unemployment-related “overpayments,” including wrongly paid sums and “significant” benefits obtained by malicious actors.
So far, the United States has recaptured just over $4 billion of that, 2.4 percent of the wrongful payments. That raised the prospect that Washington may never get most of the money back, officials said.
The exact scope of the fraud targeting federal aid initiatives is unknown, even two years later.
With unemployment benefits, however, the theft could be significant, The Washington Post reported.
In many cases, criminals reportedly stole the unemployment funds using real Americans’ personal information.
They “bombarded states” with applications filed in the names of actual workers or people in prison. In Maryland, fraudulent claims outnumber actual requests for help, The Washington Post said, citing correspondence.
The scandal was expected to add to criticism about the more than $5 trillion spent on coronavirus-related recovery projects.
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