Trump Regime

“strong indicators of widespread fraud”

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

I don't imagine this will come as a surprise if you've paid any attention, but an official government watchdog is now saying what we've seen evidence of ourselves.

The Small Business Administration's (SBA) inspector general's preliminary oversight of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program identified a pattern of fraud that may be an indicator of more widespread fraud among applicants.

This included applicants who shouldn't have received any funds and others who received multiple payments.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The internal watchdog at the U.S. government agency responsible for managing COVID-19 emergency loans and grants to small business owners and nonprofits said it has found “strong indicators of widespread potential fraud” in the disaster loan program.

The Office of the Inspector General at the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) said it has been “inundated” with contacts to investigative field offices, receiving complaints of more than 5,000 instances of suspected fraud from financial institutions receiving economic injury loan deposits through the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Advance grant programs, according to a public memo on Tuesday. [...]

Nine financial institutions have reported a total of $187.3 million in suspected fraudulent transactions. The suspicious activity included use of stolen identities, attempts to transfer funds into foreign accounts or investment accounts, and deposits into personal accounts with no evidence of business activity, the memo said.

Instances of fraud identified by the inspector general at this early stage represent only a small percentage of loans disbursed by the Small Business Administration, but the inspector general apparently has reason to believe they will find more.

Given the numerous and frequent indications of potential fraud we've seen out of the Small Business Administration's (SBA) other loan program -- the Paycheck Protection Program -- I can't say I'm shocked that the SBA may have ineptly implemented other programs. The Trump regime is not known for its extraordinary competence or any competence at all for that matter.

I know I've said this before but when the hypothetical Biden administration has a chance to open the books, I think things are going to look much worse than they currently do and I expect we're going to be looking at massive write-offs that ultimately did not return the value we spent on them. From the GOP's tax cuts to the SBA's haphazard loan programs, we've spent literally trillions on policies that either definitely won't or may not return to the pockets of average Americans. And Republicans are fine with that. They're not against extreme spending policies that overwhelmingly benefit people who were already wealthy.

The GOP would throw billions more into another tax cut or another bailout before they would renew the $600 per week pandemic unemployment program that kept people in their homes during the summer.

Their latest stimulus proposal literally includes a 100 percent deductible tax cut for business lunches. You know, for all those restaurants that aren't even open anymore.

  • muselet

    Some percentage of all that “widespread potential fraud” will of course turn out to be sloppy bookkeeping and confusion over the rules. It happens.

    However, in my opinion, much if not most will turn out to be, well, fraud. Hell, banks are blowing the whistle, and that almost never happens (of course, “use of stolen identities, attempts to transfer funds into foreign accounts or investment accounts, and deposits into personal accounts with no evidence of business activity” is pretty clear evidence of wrongdoing, and the banks couldn’t very well play dumb).

    This is what happens when programs are created quickly and by people who don’t really know what they’re doing.

    –alopecia

    • Tony Lavely

      …and by people who don’t really know what they’re doing

      And that doesn’t describe the current administration at all, does it?

  • moldilox

    could have written this headline the day PPP was announced … follows the R’s playbook for exploiting disaster to the letter …