WASHINGTON (AP) — More than $200 billion may have been stolen from two large COVID-19 relief initiatives.
That’s according to new estimates from a federal watchdog investigating federally funded programs designed to help small businesses survive the worst public health crisis in more than a hundred years.
The numbers issued Tuesday by the U.S. Small Business Administration inspector general are much greater than previous projections issued by the office.
They underscore how vulnerable the Paycheck Protection and COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan programs were to fraudsters, particularly during the early stages of the pandemic.
The Small Business Administration disputed the new figures, saying the report “contains serious flaws that significantly overestimate fraud.”