The Floodgates of Welfare Fraud Have Opened

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It’s only money.”

When you book a non-refundable boat rental to go fishing — and then the forecasted “sunny day” turns into torrential thunderstorms, these are the words your mind struggles to find. We clench our jaws, mutter under our breath, and try to put one more of life’s inevitable but harmless hiccups in perspective.

But when it comes to welfare fraud, it’s not only money. And as Congress has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic by spending more and more, scammers have responded by taking more and more.

In the Paycheck Protection Program, one Miami man stole nearly four million dollars for himself and a new $300,000 sports car. He is not alone. In the unemployment program, a “perfect storm” has made landfall as fraudsters line their pockets with the benefits meant for needy Americans who are now shut out of the system. The Inspector General has estimated that cybercriminals have stolen $8 billion in unemployment benefits.