Out of a whopping $280 billion of taxpayer money that was outright fraudulently stolen during the COVID-19 pandemic, only $8 billion has been recovered. According to a new congressional letter, the small recovery was done through Justice Department prosecutions, but the government is lackluster about the amount of money lost.
In a letter to the Justice Department, House Oversight and Accountability Committee Chairman James Comer expressed concern over the stolen money that was intended to help families and businesses that suffered during the pandemic.
“It is highly concerning that possibly billions of taxpayer dollars intended to help Americans suffering the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic were stolen by organized criminal rings in foreign countries,” Comer wrote.
“Therefore, we write today to better understand the full scope of this problem and what actions the Department has taken to investigate international COVID-19 relief program fraud and hold these foreign actors accountable,” he added.
Comer devulged the latest numbers on how much taxpayers spent on COVID relief, and how much they’ve lost to fraud:
“As of January 2023, the federal government spent approximately $4.6 trillion on aid programs in response to the COVID-19 pandemic,” it said. “This is equal to more than was spent by the entire federal government in every fiscal year prior to 2020.”
“Criminals inside and outside the United States stole approximately $280 billion in taxpayer funds intended for struggling families, businesses, hospitals, and others,” it added. “Estimates imply that at least half of all stolen COVID-19 relief funds went to Russian, Chinese, and Nigerian criminals.”
“As of March 2022, the Department stated that it had taken criminal and civil enforcement actions in matters alleging over $8 billion in pandemic relief fraud,9 but it is unclear if this is limited to domestic fraud.”
Just The News reports the committee is demanding the department provide documents and answers detailing the loss of COVID relief program including:
- The total number of current and closed cases involving COVID-19 fraud by international actors or organizations delineated by country;
- the total dollar value of fraud by international actors or organizations delineated by country;
- the total number of current and closed cases involving COVID-19 international fraud by the targeted relief fund.
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Former troops who lost livelihood over Biden’s vaccine mandate sue for billions in lost wages
Three separate lawsuits with plans to be turned into a class action lawsuit is in the works on behalf of all service members who suffered due to Biden’s military vaccine mandate. Former troops involved in the lawsuit were either kicked out or illegally ordered to stop drilling, resulting in loss of pay or benefits, reports Breitbart.
Attorney Dale Saran, a retired Marine, and fellow attorneys Andy Meyer and Brandon Johnson are representing the former troops in the lawsuit, stating, “It’s worth billions. That’s just flat-out. That’s what it is in backpay. It’s billions of dollars,” said Saran.
The lawsuits were filed in the U.S. Court of Federal Claims, which Saran said is a specialized court where illegal discharges are heard. Saran estimates there are 80,000 to 100,000 service members — both active-duty and reservists — who were impacted by the mandate. While more than 8,000 active-duty troops were kicked out, tens of thousands of reservists were told not to drill anymore or were moved to inactive status, he said.
“They were basically [without] the benefit of any due process. No boards were held. They didn’t hold any administrative separation boards; they didn’t hold any hearings. They didn’t do any federal recognition boards; none of the administrative or judicial procedures were used. They just flat-out did it. And then…they got the Coast Guard to follow along, and they got a bunch of Coasties too,” Saran said.
Saran said the monetary damages were not only from lost backpay but also from repayment of enlistment bonuses. He explained, “Say you enlisted for five years, you got a bonus and $50,000…And then, now, they’re like, ‘Hey, we’re gonna inject you with this.’ You’re like, ‘Yo, that’s experimental. Like, that’s not actually licensed. And the defense secretary’s order was we’d only have to take licensed vaccines — that says experimental.’”
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