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Opinion | Covid Fraud Hits $45.6 Billion



The Labor Department’s Inspector General has updated its estimates of fraud in pandemic-era unemployment benefits, and it’s hard to know what’s worse: the shoddy systems that allowed crooks to bilk taxpayers, or the Biden Administration’s refusal to do anything about it.

The IG first alerted Labor to the scope of the problem with reports in February and June last year, identifying $16 billion in potentially fraudulent payouts to large and small operators of unemployment scams. A new IG memo last week identifies $30 billion more in fraudulent payments—for a total of $45.6 billion. That’s three times what the U.S. has spent to help Ukraine fend off Russia.

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