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Distribution of COVID Assistance Was ‘Invitation’ for Fraud Without ‘Minimal Checks’ to Prevent It

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During a portion of an interview with NBC aired on Monday’s edition of “NBC Nightly News,” Department of Justice Inspector General and Chair of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee Michael Horowitz said he wasn’t surprised at the speed with which fraudsters moved to obtain coronavirus assistance money, the way that the Small Business Administration distributed coronavirus assistance was “an invitation” for people who wanted to engage in fraud because the agency told people to “apply and sign and tell us that you’re really entitled to the money,” and that there weren’t “even minimal checks” to ensure that the assistance money was being sent out to the right people.

Host Lester Holt asked, “Have you been surprised by how quickly fraudsters moved in on this money?”

Horowitz responded, “Unfortunately, not really.”

Horowitz also stated that the Small Business Administration in sending the money out, “basically said to people, apply and sign and tell us that you’re really entitled to the money, and of course, for fraudsters, that’s an invitation.”

He also said, “What didn’t happen was even minimal checks to make sure that the money was getting to the right people at the right time.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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