Nearly $100 billion has been stolen from pandemic relief funds, according to the Secret Service.
The stolen money was diverted from the Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program, the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and a third program created to issue unemployment assistance funds, the agency said Tuesday, according to CNBC.
Over $2.3 billion has so far been recovered, and roughly 100 suspects, from individuals to groups, have been arrested.
The government has released roughly $3.5 trillion in COVID-19 relief money since the pandemic started in early 2020.
The Secret Service, in announcing the arrest and dollar amounts, also said a new national pandemic fraud recovery coordinator has been appointed to oversee agency investigations.
The new coordinator, Assistant Special Agent in Charge Roy Dotson, told CNBC: “I’ve been in law enforcement for over 29 years and worked some complex fraud investigations for 20 plus years, and I’ve never seen something at this scale.”
He also said the agency still has over 900 active investigations related to pandemic fraud.