Billions in taxpayer money stolen

A House committee is now investigating how up to $100 billion of COVID relief funds landed in the wrong hands. ABC News’ Andrea Fujii reports.
3:00 | 02/02/23

Coming up in the next {{countdown}} {{countdownlbl}}

Coming up next:



Skip to this video now

Now Playing:


Related Extras
Related Videos
Video Transcript
Transcript for Billions in taxpayer money stolen
ANDREA FUJII: This morning, Congress is investigating how up to $100 billion of COVID relief funds, including money from the Paycheck Protection Program or PPP, got into the wrong hands. - We owe it to the American people to get to the bottom of the greatest theft of American taxpayer dollars in history. ANDREA FUJII: One example, a California man who pleaded guilty to using $5 million to buy a Ferrari, a Bentley, and a Lamborghini, and take lavish vacations. Another example, a Florida pastor and his son accused of using millions that were supposed to benefit their ministry, to buy a mansion in this development. - Any dollar taken from those programs by fraudsters is a dollar taken away from people who needed support. ANDREA FUJII: A House committee yesterday kicked off hearings on the billions in taxpayer money scammed from the programs that were supposed to keep businesses afloat during the pandemic. The figures astounding. A watchdog says the government was handing out up to $50 billion per day, but lacked the necessary vetting process and fraud protections. - You go to an agency that has experience giving out $30 billion over year-- over a year and you say, here's $800 billion. Get the money out the door, which was the initial PPP program. That's a recipe for a very challenging situation. ANDREA FUJII: Nearly 70,000 Social Security numbers used to apply for funding did not match applicants' names or birthdates. Despite the fraud, supporters of the programs point out, millions of PPP loans legitimately helped people. - It was Congress which acted responsibly and swiftly and in bipartisan fashion to create and supercharge programs that saved countless businesses and families from bankruptcy and ruin. - More than 1,000 people have been forced to return money or been charged with fraud. And it's not just fraud from PPP loans, unemployment insurance fraud could top $60 billion.

This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.

{"duration":"3:00","description":"A House committee is now investigating how up to $100 billion of COVID relief funds landed in the wrong hands. ABC News’ Andrea Fujii reports.","mediaType":"default","section":"ABCNews/WNN","id":"96845547","title":"Billions in taxpayer money stolen","url":"/WNN/video/billions-taxpayer-money-stolen-96845547"}