Unemployment fraud exploded during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to the U.S. Labor Department Inspector General’s semiannual report to Congress.
Approximately $872 billion in federal funding was allocated to unemployment benefits in the last year, and at least 10% was estimated to be paid “improperly, with a significant portion attributable to fraud.”
The $908 billion pandemic stimulus compromise package being discussed in the U.S. Senate is a hopeful sign of progress, Florida Republican U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio said, but it won’t garner his support until more assistance is tabbed for small businesses.
The four-month emergency package introduced Tuesday by a bipartisan coalition of senators and House representatives on Capitol Hill would fund transportation, food assistance, coronavirus testing centers and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) crafted by Rubio’s Small Business and Entrepreneurship Senate Committee to help businesses pay their employees during shutdowns rather than lay them off.
An Ohio man is one of five being indicted in a $4 million Payroll Protection Program (PPP) fraud case.
The accused allegedly submitted, or assisted in the submission of a fraudulent PPP loan for five businesses according to the indictment. Khalil Gibran Green Sr. of Cleveland claimed to be the sole owner of Impact Creations LLC, a company that claimed to have 67 employees and an average monthly payroll of $332,000 on a PPP application.
President Trump hinted that the second round of stimulus payments could be higher than the original $1200. The new GOP plan has updated the definition of “dependents” allowing many to receive an additional $500 dollars per person in their families.
During an interview in Texas yesterday, President Trump spoke on the second stimulus package, saying “we want to take care of people that don’t have jobs,” Noting that “we have to do it smart but we want.. (to be) very generous.” When asked by a reporter if $1200 would be enough the president responded ” We’re going to see it may go higher than that actually.” He went on to praise the economy saying “We just had tremendous job numbers” and “great retail sales numbers.”
The Small Business Administration and the U.S. Treasury revealed Sunday that the second round of the Paycheck Protection Program has issued 2.2 million loans, totaling $175 billion.
PPP loans are forgivable loans for small businesses to offset some of the losses experienced by the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The loans are meant to provide a direct incentive for small businesses to keep their workers on the payroll.
The U.S. Department of Treasury issued new guidance on CARES Act funding saying publicly traded companies have two weeks to return loans meant for small businesses.
The federal government is sending more than $108.8 million to 97 airports in Ohio as part of a program to help them during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The money is part of the $2 trillion Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act Airport Grant Program. In total, the feds are doling out $10 billion to airports nationwide.
“This $10 billion in emergency resources will help fund the continued operations of our nation’s airports during this crisis and save workers’ jobs,” U.S. Transportation Secretary Elaine L. Chao said in a news release.
The House of Representatives on Friday passed the Senate’s $2 trillion coronavirus relief package and sent it to the president. What initially began as a bill designed to help the workers and families hurt by job loss or disruption caused by government measures to fight coronavirus morphed into an 880-page behemoth.
Here are the highlights: the good, the bad, and the ugly.