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A better approach to stop feeding the fraudsters with CARES Act relief

Posted  October 29, 2020
By Gordon Schnell

(Published in Tennessean)

The federal government has yet to come up with an appropriate answer for the feeding frenzy of fraud that is looming with billions in CARES Act funding in play and trillions more likely on the way. Despite its best efforts, the government loses tens of billions of dollars from fraud every year, much of it committed by the very same companies now benefitting from CARES Act relief. Unless there are actionable safeguards included in the coming rounds of relief, we are likely to see this unprecedented government spending spree turn into the largest taxpayer heist in history…

According to Sen. Chuck Grassley, perhaps the senator most committed to rooting out fraud against the government:  “Companies that have previously defrauded taxpayers need to have giant red flags on their files and ought to be doubly scrutinized before being handed another fat contract.” Yet what appears to be missing from the government is any kind of extra scrutiny to or even recognition of the scores of recipients that previously engaged in fraud.

That needs to change. Congress must hold past fraudsters to a higher standard by attaching much-needed strings to COVID relief… Congress also must encourage and embolden whistleblowers to help keep this expected fraud and recidivism in check… History has shown it is only with the help of those on the inside that fraud can be identified and addressed in real time.

Which brings us back to the problem of supporting former and future fraudsters with trillions of dollars in CARES act relief. … The only real option is to step up the vigilance of those previously prone to misbehavior, enlist all of us to ensure they do not cross the line again, and go after them hard when they do. Only then will the adage “We Are All In This Together” be more than just a tired trope and take on the true meaning it is supposed to have.

Click here to read the full article as published in the Tennessean.

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Tagged in: CC Lawyers, COVID-19, Government Loan Programs, Government Programs Fraud, Healthcare Fraud,