Many who participated in what prosecutors are calling the largest fraud in American history—the theft of hundreds of billions of dollars in taxpayer money intended to help those harmed by the pandemic — couldn’t resist purchasing luxury automobiles. Also mansions, private jet flights, and swanky vacations.
They came into their riches by participating in what experts say is the theft of as much as $80 billion — or about 10 percent — of the $800 billion handed out in a COVID-19 relief plan known as the Paycheck Protection Program. That’s on top of the $90 billion to $400 billion believed to have been stolen from the $900 billion COVID-19 unemployment relief program — at least half taken by international fraudsters — as NBC News reported last year. And another $80 billion potentially pilfered from a separate COVID-19 disaster relief program.
Experts now say up to 10 percent of the $800 billion handed out in a Covid relief plan called the Paycheck Protection Program was stolen.
By @KenDilanianNBC + @strickdc
Watch @LesterHoltNBC on @NBCNightlyNews tonight for more.https://t.co/6rMSQN1roa
— NBC Investigations (@NBCInvestigates) March 28, 2022
Read more on this story on NBC’s website and watch “NBC Nightly News with Lester Holt” at 5:30 p.m. on KSL Monday night.