WASHINGTON, D.C. — Last night during his State of the Union, President Biden pledged to crack down on the rampant fraud in Trump-era COVID-19 relief programs while many legitimately struggling small businesses were left behind, especially in communities of color. Since the health crisis began, government watchdog Accountable.US extensively documented how the Trump administration’s COVID-aid mismanagement opened the door for fraud and prioritized the rich and well-connected over actual struggling mom-and-pop businesses and their families.
It’s welcome news that the Biden administration is coming for fraudsters who exploited a program meant for small businesses hurting during the pandemic. But it’s also important to reflect on how we got here. The Trump administration set up the program with virtually no oversight or transparency. The total void of accountability invited rampant fraud and abuse while mom-and-pop shops across the country, especially in communities of color, faced a wall of bureaucracy and rejection. There should also be accountability for wealthy people or publicly-traded companies that took advantage of Trump’s lax guidelines to receive low-cost loans they didn’t need – it’s time they pay taxpayers back in full.”
Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US
Accountable.US also offered interactive resources for the public to see how their tax dollars were being spent including www.COVIDBailoutTracker.com and its PPP Fraud tracker. Accountable.US’ research also showed that many businesses owned by people of color were unable to access a penny in PPP funds while fraudsters and hundreds of rich publicly-traded companies managed to jump to the front of the line, to the tune of billions of dollars.
SEE MORE ACCOUNTABLE.US RESEARCH ON COVID-19 RELIEF PROGRAMS: