A congressional panel Tuesday will examine payouts under a federal coronavirus pandemic aid program intended to help small businesses weather the COVID-19 outbreak amid revelations that as much as 20% of the money may have been awarded to fraudsters.The problems in the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, overseen by the U.S. Small Business Administration, included a finding by congressional investigators that some 1.6 million applications for the loans may have been approved without being evaluated.Separately, the SBA’s Office of the Inspector General estimated that at least $80 billion distributed from the $400 billion program could have been potentially fraudulent, much of it in scams using stolen identities.The program is expected to be at the center of a congressional subcommittee hearing that also will tackle broader fraud concerns with the flood of pandemic aid from multiple federal government programs for states, local governments, businesses and the unemployed.The $5 trillion in total aid, delivered in a series of bills signed by Presidents Donald Trump and Joe Biden, have come with numerous complications.Fraud overwhelmed enhanced unemployment insurance programs funded by the federal government and administered by the states. There was so much aid to governments that many struggled to find a way

Continue To Full Article