Secret Service Returns Fraudulent Pandemic Loans Small Business Administration

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A secret service agent.

Julia Nikhinson | PA

The US Secret Service government has returned $286 million in fraudulently obtained pandemic relief loans to the Small Business Administration, the agency said on Friday.

The SBA received funds through the Economic Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) which uses both fabricated and stolen identities.

The suspect suspects Green Dot Bank’s fraudulent funds are held and transferred by a fintech company. According to the agency, more than 15,000 accounts were used in the plot by individuals in the United States, as well as transnational and domestic organized crime networks.

Investigations are ongoing and additional information regarding the suspects was not immediately available. The The investigation was launched by the Secret Service Office in Orlando, Florida, Green Dot Bank worked with the agency to identify fraudulent accounts.

“Fraudsters in general are always looking for ways and techniques to do their crimes better and modern conveniences are just one of those things they use. So currently, cryptocurrency is a big thing, fintechs, third-party payment systems. But there isn’t an institution, even our traditional financial institutions, that hasn’t been targeted during the pandemic,” Deputy Special Agent in Charge Roy Dotson, CNBC Secret Service Principal Investigator, interviewed him.

Initial investigative inquiries revealed that most of the accounts were fraudulent. Green Dot was created using stolen and synthetic identities. Using these identities was illegal. “willing and unwilling money mules,” Dotson said.

The Office of the SBA Inspector General of the Secret Service In early 2020, notices were sent to 30,000 financial institutions to identify indicators of fraud and direct banks to work with federal agencies to recover stolen funds. said Dotson. The investigations will likely last for many years due to their scope and scale.

OIG Inspector General Hannibal Ware According to the agreement, the Secret Service partnership has led to more than 400 indictments and nearly 300 convictions to date for pandemic fraud.

The US government has spent more than $1 trillion on the Main Street Paycheck Protection Program EIDL program. The PPP allowed small businesses to borrow loans. The loan can be canceled if they have used most of the capital for payroll. The CovidThe -19 EIDL program enabled borrowers to obtain loans based on temporary income losses due to the pandemic. An EIDL also provided advance grants.

Reviews Two programs offered by the SBA’s Office of Inspector General Due to the speed of the deployment process and the request for assistance, CNBC warned that criminals could potentially exploit the system. CNBC’s investigation found that in some cases, How easy it was to steal identities and get fraudulent aid!.

The SBA OIG said it identified potential fraudulent EIDL loans worth $87 billion.

In the previous two years, the Secret Service company claimed to have seized more than $1.4 billion in fraudulently acquired funds and paid out $2.3 billion to state unemployment insurance programs. Nearly Authorities have launched more than 4,000 investigations and investigations into pandemic-related fraud. Secret Service. There are more than 150 field offices involved and 40 cyber work teams.

“It’s not going to be a silver bullet. As we talked about today, 15,325 accounts at a financial institution — that’s one case, so you can just think about the potential number of suspects and the number of investigations that could come out of that. And with all of our federal, state, and local partners, working this and having the same mission. It’s going to be a long process,” Dotson announced the money at a press conference.

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