Defunct companies have received more than a billion dollars from the US authorities to combat the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic, writes Bloomberg.
The number of grants issued to small businesses in the amount of 10 thousand dollars exceeded the number of applicants who are eligible for support, the newspaper notes. For example, in Chicago, 81,000 grants were approved, despite the fact that only 19,000 people could count on payments. Thus, the authorities lost $ 600 million due to ghost companies.
In Illinois, the Small Business Administration (SBA) approved 24,278 grants, but the latest figures from the US Census Bureau show that only 1,925 businesses in the county were eligible for payment. In total, Bloomberg identified 52 counties across the country where suspicious payments totaling $1.3 billion were identified.
The grant program has sparked a spike in fraud. For example, criminals offered to help people get a grant in exchange for a reward. The person provided ID and bank account information, and the scammers used this information to submit a fake claim.
The SBA said it has вЂњstrong guarantees against fraud,вЂќ which is why it has already rejected 1,000 suspicious applications. The agency began disbursing grants in April, totaling $20 billion in support.
The fall in US GDP in the second quarter was 32.9 percent compared to the same period last year. In March, the authorities decided to allocate two trillion dollars to support the country's economy, in May the government allocated another three trillion dollars for these purposes.