EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Ernst Introduces Legislation To Hold SBA Accountable For $200 Billion In Fraud

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Henry Rodgers Chief National Correspondent
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Republican Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst introduced legislation Wednesday to require the Small Business Administration (SBA) to collect all of the COVID funds owed to U.S. taxpayers and investigate all suspected fraud.

The Daily Caller first obtained a copy of the bill, which comes after a report from the SBA IG suggested up to $200 billion in suspected fraud from 4.5 million pandemic recovery grants and loans to scammers and others committing fraud. In April, a convicted fraudster claiming to own three fake businesses, was arrested over a $3 million Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan fraud incident.

In January, the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) found 69,323 dubious Social Security Numbers that were reportedly used to obtain $5.4 billion in COVID relief. (RELATED: REPORT: Watchdog Finds Over $5 Billion In Potential Covid Relief Fraud)

“Over the course of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, SBA disbursed approximately $1.2 trillion of COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds,” a SBA IG report states.

“We estimate that SBA disbursed over $200 billion in potentially fraudulent COVID-19 EIDLs, EIDL Targeted Advances, Supplemental Targeted Advances, and PPP loans. This means at least 17 percent of all COVID-19 EIDL and PPP funds were disbursed to potentially fraudulent actors,” the report adds.


(DAILY CALLER OBTAINED) — … by Henry Rodgers

Ernst ripped the SBA over the fraud.

“Ex-cons, gang members, and drug traffickers – oh my! SBA’s fast fraud, made to order, allowed criminals to go on COVID spending sprees while thousands of deserving businesses in Iowa were left to fend for themselves,” Ernst told the Caller before introducing the legislation.

“Instead of asking, ‘would you like fries with that,’ SBA should be focused on recovering ALL our wasted tax dollars. I will keep fighting to bring accountability to Washington and make Biden’s SBA squeal!,” she added. (RELATED: EXCLUSIVE: Sen. Joni Ernst To Introduce Legislation To Finish Building Border Wall Ahead Of Title 42 Ending)

The SBA IG report was released on June 27.