Pandemic Aid Sham Caused by Con Artist and Syndicates

Fernando Menjura, Writer

In December, investigators flooded a strip mall in Garden Grove, California. To their surprise, they found rows of customers moving in and out of the parking lot and large piles of cash stacked inside the stores. False unemployment claims were being filed by Nguyen Social Services, who were charging $700 per claim per person. Later investigation found that the people participating in this fraud were not eligible to receive COVID-19 relief money.

Now known as The Brazen Fraud, this cost taxpayers an estimated $11 million, according to prosecutors. Todd Spitzer, an Orange County District Attorney said, “This isn’t just an Orange County problem. It isn’t just a California problem. This is a breakdown of catastrophic proportions that has failed the American taxpayer.” For the last few decades, scammers have constantly found new ways to manipulate millions of dollars out of government aid programs. A full investigation done by the Inspector General of the Labor Department brought to the surface that an estimated $63 billion of the $630 billion sent out has been misspent. Multiple experts and officials have stated this number could be well over $100 billion.

Orange County District Attorney

Based on interviews from 24 different fraud experts, senior law enforcement officials and federal officials admitted that the federal government was unresponsive for a while, even after multiple red flags. Now that this issue has come into focus, a task force was brought together by the Justice Department to attempt to abolish fraud throughout the 50 states and U.S territories.