March 6, 2023
Main Street Monday – Biden Proposes $1.6 Billion to Tackle Pandemic Fraud
“We must empower law enforcement to pursue, investigate, prosecute, and recover money from those who were engaged in major or sophisticated fraud—from well-off individuals who took hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of dollars from taxpayers to sophisticated criminal syndicates engaging in systemic identity theft,” reads a White House press release.
Last week, President Biden introduced a three-part Pandemic Anti-Fraud proposal that would use a total of $1.6 billion to address the criminals that took advantage of COVID relief. Part of the plan provides $600 million to government watchdogs so that they have the resources to pursue serious pandemic fraud.
• The proposal requests $300 million for the DOJ to add ten more strike forces to target major fraudulent actors. These task forces will be comprised of investigative federal partners including the FBI, Homeland Security, the Secret Service, Postal Inspection Service, and the IRS.
• The SBA Inspector General would be given at least $100 million to hire investigators that would focus on the organized pandemic fraud caseload that would otherwise take decades to prosecute.
• Expand the Treasury’s Do Not Pay list and help identify, prevent, and recover improper payments.
“While we still have work to do, I’m confident that these resources – including the proposed allocation of an additional $100 million for the Office of the Inspector General – will equip our partners to better protect the interests of American taxpayers,” says SBA Administrator Isabella Casillas Guzman.