Government spending begets the abuse of government spending. The flood of government Covid spending has generated a vast amount of fraud. A Labor Department report released on Thursday found that criminals potentially stole $45.6 billion in fraudulent unemployment insurance claims. That’s about as much as the budgets of the EPA and the National Science Foundation combined. Stolen. And that’s only one form of Covid fraud. The Justice Department recently charged 47 people in connection with another scheme that stole money from programs meant to feed low-income children. This crew of criminals stole more than $250 million. The Wall Street Journal’s Sadie Gurman reports:
The Justice Department charged 47 people in connection with an alleged scheme that stole more than $250 million from a federal program that fed low-income children, in what officials called the largest theft yet uncovered from a coronavirus pandemic aid program.
Federal prosecutors said those charged created entities that claimed to be providing meals to tens of thousands of children who didn’t exist. The defendants then sought reimbursement through the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s child-nutrition programs and used the money to buy luxury cars, real estate, jewelry and international vacations, prosecutors said. Many of the organizations claiming to be serving food were sponsored by a Minnesota-based nonprofit called Feeding Our Future, which submitted their claims for reimbursement.
“What is spelled out in the charges details a blatant display of greed,” Michael Paul, special agent-in-charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Minneapolis field office, said Tuesday. “The subjects in this case weren’t interested in feeding our future. They were interested in feeding their own gluttony.”
The cases, brought by the U.S. attorney’s office in Minnesota, are part of the Justice Department’s stepped-up efforts to uncover theft from programs intended to provide aid after the outbreak of the pandemic in 2020. The department said it has taken enforcement actions related to more than $8 billion in pandemic fraud, bringing charges against thousands of people. Kevin Chambers, the Justice Department’s director of Covid-19 fraud enforcement, said the Minnesota cases represent “the very type of fraud that the department has identified as a foremost enforcement priority.”
Among those whose indictments were announced Tuesday was Aimee Bock, the founder and executive director of Feeding Our Future. Prosecutors said she oversaw the scheme, working with others in the group to submit fraudulent reimbursement claims and receive kickbacks. Ms. Bock was charged with wire fraud, federal-programs bribery and conspiracy.
Action Line: The list of known Covid fraud schemes is long and probably incomplete. No one will take care of your money like Y-O-U. Government has no fiduciary duty to taxpayers. Once it has taken your money, any mistakes or abuses are completely unaccountable. If you need help with your money, you want a fiduciary. Ask your financial advisor if they have a fiduciary duty to serve your best interests. If they don’t, let’s talk. You should know what you’re missing.
E.J. Smith - Your Survival Guy
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