The Secret Service reports having recovered $286 million in fraudulently obtained pandemic loans

Agency's Orlando office initiated probe, found alleged conspirators submitted applications with fake, stolen work and personal info

Updated: August 26, 2022 - 2:08pm

The Secret Service has recovered $286 million in fraudulently obtained pandemic loans and is returning the money to the Small Business Administration, the agency said Friday.

The agency's Orlando office initiated the investigation and found that the alleged conspirators submitted Economic Injury Disaster Loan applications by using fake or stolen employment and personal information, according to the Associated Press

The alleged fraudsters then used the online bank Green Dot to conceal and move the money they received.

The Secret Service worked with the bank to identify roughly 15,000 accounts and seize the $286 million connected to the accounts, according to an agency news release.

"This forfeiture effort and those to come are a direct and necessary response to the unprecedented size and scope of pandemic relief fraud," said Kevin Chambers, the department's director for COVID-19 fraud enforcement.

Billions have been fraudulently claimed through various pandemic relief programs – including Paycheck Protection Program loans, unemployment insurance and others that were rolled out in the midst of the worldwide pandemic that shutdown global economies for months, the wire service also reports.

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