How the Covid relief plan led to the ‘biggest scam of a generation’

A $3.5 million mansion. $450,000 in cash. Lamborghinis. Ferraris. Bentley’s. Teslas. All paid for by US taxpayers.

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NBC found numerous instances of waste, fraud and abuse of federal funding from Covid relief plans such as the Paycheck Protection Plan (PPP).

“The scammers are bold and buy luxury cars, lights on private jets, mansions like this one in Los Angeles,” Lester Fraud reported. “A couple who spearheaded a massive $20 million scam ring using fake IDs to apply for loans from bogus companies. They texted about the available cash.”

“Congress is now investigating Blue Vine, one of the third-party providers that has processed billions in loans and touted that a company can get a loan approval in five minutes,” Holt noted. “What didn’t happen wasn’t even minimal checks to make sure the money got to the right people at the right time.”

It interviewed Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz, who oversees a DOJ task force to investigate whether the 5 trillion dollars in Covid aid funds it went to the right place.

“When the Small Business Administration sent this money out, they basically said to people, apply and sign and tell us you’re really entitled to the money,” Horowitz said. “And for scammers, of course, that’s an invitation.”

It’s been dubbed the “biggest scam in a generation.” For Americans who lived through the Obama administration and witnessed boondoggles like “Cash for clunkers‘ this may seem like an extravagant claim. But given the scale of the scam and the fact that it took advantage of a Covid pandemic crisis, that claim seems well founded. How the Covid relief plan led to the ‘biggest scam of a generation’

Jake Nichol

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