Secret Service personnel said the agency returned approximately $286 million in fraudulently obtained Economic Disaster Loans (EIDLs) to the Small Business Administration (SBA).
“The Secret Service is dedicated to protecting the integrity of the nation’s financial systems from fraud and holding those responsible accountable for their criminal activities,” said Deputy Director of the Secret Service David Smith. “By helping to return nearly $2.3 billion in stolen funds over the past 30 months, our workforce has demonstrated a clear and firm commitment to the vitality of American businesses across the country.”
The funds were acquired through fraudulently submitted EIDL loan applications using fabricated or stolen jobs and personal information. The investigation launched by the agency in Orlando, Florida, showed that conspirators had deployed the third-party payment system Green Dot Bank (GDB), the issuer of Green Dot debit cards, to conceal and move the products of the crime.
Working with GDB, the Secret Service identified more than 15,000 accounts used in the plot and seized $286 million contained in the fraudulent accounts.
“Through intentional collaborations like this, the OIG will continue to ensure that taxpayer money obtained through fraudulent means will be returned to taxpayers and that the fraudsters involved will be brought to justice,” said the Inspector General of the SBA Office of Inspector General (OIG), Hannibal “Mike” Ware. “OIG is focused on weeding out bad actors in these vital SBA programs. I would like to thank the United States Secret Service and our many law enforcement partners for their tireless dedication and focused commitment to ensuring justice is served.
Since 2020, the Secret Service has seized more than $1.4 billion in fraudulently obtained funds while helping return an estimated $2.3 billion to state unemployment insurance programs.