On 24 December, BNN Bloomberg reported on the pervasiveness of fraud in the $214 billion Economic Injury Disaster Loan programme, meant to help businesses hurt by Covid-19. In hundreds of neighbourhoods in Chicago and across the country, the records show government aid flowing to statistically impossible numbers of small businesses, many of which appear on closer inspection to be fictional. Grants given included those that went to 21 people who claimed to have businesses at the same ranch-style house. Thousands more grants and loans went to self-described farmers operating in densely populated cities, including more than $150,000 approved for a pair of poultry farms in Apartment 13D of a swanky high-rise in Manhattan’s Greenwich Village. It says that the disaster-aid programme has distributed about $194 billion in low-interest loans to 3.6 million small businesses across the country, as well as $20 billion in 5.8 million grants of as much as $10,000 that don’t have to be repaid. Its separate from the $525 billion Paycheck Protection Program, which offered forgivable loans through private lenders. The 2 poultry farms in Greenwich Village appear to be the invention of a scammer who stole the identity of the apartment’s residents, a church treasurer and his wife – and the former is quoted as asking – would it be too much to ask for the government to figure out it shouldn’t be making loans to poultry farmers in New York City?
I had omitted the following link (as it did not seem to generate much interest!), but it seemed time to add it again and say that, if you would like to make a (polite) gesture and help me with my removal and computer costs, I have a page at https://www.buymeacoffee.com/KoIvM842y