SOME experts are sounding the alarms, saying that half of all coronavirus-related unemployment could have been stolen by Russia and China.
An estimated $400 billion of unemployment distributed during the pandemic could have been fraudulent, with a bulk of those funds going to foreign crime syndicates, experts claim.
The country lost over $400 billion to fraudulent claims, warns Blake Hall, the CEO of ID.me.
Hall, whose company tries to stop this type of fraud, told Axios that as much as half of all unemployment may have been stolen.
The funds could have landed in the hands of criminal syndicates operating in China, Nigeria, Russia and other countries.
“These groups are definitely backed by the state,” LexisNexis Risk Solutions CEO Haywood Talcove told Axios.
Talcove raised alarm bells, saying at least 70 percent of the money stolen has left the country and likely is being used by these illicit groups.
When the pandemic hit and millions across the country went through record unemployment, many states were ill-prepared for the mass strain on its unemployment claims processing.
As a result, more states chose to give funds to those in need knowing fraud was inevitable.
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“Widespread fraud at the state level in pandemic unemployment insurance during the previous Administration is one of the most serious challenges we inherited,” said White House economist Gene Sperling.
“President Biden has been clear that this type of activity from criminal syndicates is despicable and unacceptable,” Sperling continued.
“It is why we passed $2 billion for UI modernizations in the American Rescue Plan, instituted a Department of Justice Anti-Fraud Task Force and an all-of-government Identity Theft and Public Benefits Initiative.”