Congressional investigation finds over $1 billion in coronavirus aid fraud
Over $1 billion in emergency coronavirus aid relief went to companies that “double dipped” and received multiple Paycheck Protection Program loans in violation of the program’s rules, according to a preliminary analysis released Tuesday by the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis.
Congressional investigators identified multiple areas of potential waste and fraud in the program, often referred to as PPP, which was part of the $2 trillion CARES Act. The program offered qualifying small businesses up to $10 million in emergency and forgivable loans to shore up their payrolls and meet basic expenses due to business impacts from the coronavirus and lockdown periods. The program gave loans to nearly 4.9 million small businesses for a total of $521 billion. As designed, the program still has $133 million in untapped funds.’
President Donald Trump’s administration failed to design and implement a program that would help actual small businesses and their workers,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US, a government waste watchdog. “Instead, it cut corners and kept the American people in the dark. In the end, the wealthy and well-connected were showered with our tax dollars and fraudsters took advantage of the program’s troubling lack of transparency.