There’s a reason why so many Republicans are fighting for small businesses to operate at full capacity and get the American economy back on track again. Fraud has completely taken over many of the pandemic-related unemployment programs. Between scammers, politicians, and those looking to make an extra buck, billions of dollars have been siphoned from these “jobless” programs.
In the most recent turn of events, Olivia Ware, a former candidate for the Mayor of the City of Conyers, was recently charged with money laundering and stealing over $323,000 from the Paycheck Protection Program to buy an in-ground swimming pool, furniture, home improvement items, and to pay down on the principal of her mortgage.
Ware originally applied for the PPP after submitting a false application as CEO of a Georgia Company called “Let’s Talk About the Family Inc.” When courts looked into those state records, they found that Ware did not pay any wages to employees, even though she submitted to tax records that the company had 54 employees that were paid “hundreds of thousands of dollars” in salary. The case is still being investigated by Homeland Security and prosecuted by assistant U.S Attorneys Bernita B. Malloy and Trevor C. Wilmot.
“Ware tried to defraud the government out of money meant to help small businesses affected by the pandemic continue operations and take care of their employees. Instead of helping others through a difficult time as the money was intended, she used the money for personal gain. Every time a fraudster steals money from the PPP fund another legitimate business is unable to get those funds to help real employees with real families,” said Special Agent Katrina W. Berger, who oversees Homeland Security Investigations in Georgia and Alabama.
This isn’t the first time the fraudulent activity has been discovered in business loans and state unemployment claims. California findings also revealed that $11 billion in unemployment benefits have been paid on fraudulent claims since last March, along with an additional $19 billion in claims under investigation. California GOP lawmakers are demanding Gov. Gavin Newsom release more information regarding the state’s fraudulent activity in order to find a way to recover the money, help victims of identity theft who were related to the scam, and when pending legitimate claims will be paid.
The reports triggered Californians to organize a ‘Recall Newsom 2020’ campaign and received nearly 2 million votes, indicating (once verified) that the recall will be put on the ballot. Gov. Newsom, however, has denied any accountability over the fraudulent activity in his state and blamed “anti-maskers, anti-maskers, and QAnon supporters” for the recall efforts. He called the recall a “partisan move” that is supported by Trump supporters. When will Democrats finally take the word ‘Trump’ out of their mouth for blaming everything?
Six individuals in Georgia and South Carolina have also been connected with fraudulently obtaining nearly $3 million in PPP loans on behalf of five businesses. They were part of a larger group that has been obtaining the money through falsely submitting loan applications to a financial institution and committing bank fraud, as well as laundering money and committing wire fraud. To date, the Department of Justice has recovered nearly $1.2 million of the stolen money.
Even House Democrats, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, have been accused of turning the COVID-19 relief package into an extremely expensive liberal wishlist. They’ve used the funds as an opportunity to cram their democratic priorities into the bill, completely unrelated to the COVID-19 pandemic and helping Americans get back to work. Some of the proposals included raising the minimum wage to $15/hr, funding $270 million for arts and humanities endowments, $200 million for museums and libraries, $350 billion for bailing out states, and money for Obamacare.
Democrats have made it blatantly obvious that the only people they don’t want to help are the individuals and small businesses damaged by bad political decisions and blue-state lockdowns.