Republicans demand answers from Garland on Covid relief fraud (NBC News)

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    Republicans demand answers from Garland on Covid relief fraud – By Ken Dilanian (NBC News) / Aug 29, 2023

    The Labor Department’s latest estimate of unsupported payments in the unemployment program from March 2020 to September 2021 is nearly 40%, or $47 billion.

    A congressional committee investigating pandemic relief fraud is demanding that the Justice Department provide documents and information describing the extent to which international criminal groups plundered those programs, according to a letter obtained exclusively by NBC News.

    The letter, from the Republican-controlled House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Pandemic, asks Attorney General Merrick Garland to turn over “all documents and communications regarding metrics or estimates” of Covid relief program funds lost “due to fraud by international or overseas actors and criminal organizations,” including the number of cases and the total dollar amount of losses delineated by country of origin for the criminal actors.

    The letter comes a week after the Labor Department released a new estimate pegging the total amount of fraud or unsupported payments in the pandemic unemployment program from March 2020 to September 2021 at nearly 40%, with estimated losses or questionable payments of $47.3 billion, out of a total of $131.6 billion. The report said the lack of verification systems and flaws in program design created a “perfect storm” that allowed criminal groups to steal benefits using fake identities at a massive scale.

    CONTINUE > https://www.nbcnews.com/politics/congress/republicans-demand-answers-garland-covid-relief-fraud-rcna102298

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