Pa. Auditor Normal Requires Tighter Management of Subsequent Spherical of COVID-19 Assist Funding After Fraud Instances – CBS Pittsburgh

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) – Since the pandemic began, KDKA Investigates has uncovered various types of coronavirus-related fraud – from questionable paycheck protection program loans to inmates receiving pandemic unemployment assistance.

Now that Pennsylvania is spending more than $ 10 billion to fight new coronaviruses, can this scam be contained?

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Carnegie’s Randy Frasinelli is accused of charging the paycheck protection program with $ 3.8 million. Federal prosecutors say he filed business expenses but wasted the money on Mercedes SUVs, a BMW, a Porsche, gold bars, jewelry and tuition for his family.

On a smaller scale, KDKA found dozens of questionable PPP loans went to some apparently non-existent businesses in Braddock – each receiving the maximum of $ 20,000 for people claiming to be sole proprietorships.

“There wasn’t enough security in place before these loans were granted. As a result, the federal government has estimated that hundreds of thousands of dollars have been lost to fraud, ”Pa said. Auditor General Timothy DeFoor.

DeFoor pointed to the widespread fraud in the spread of PPP and called for tighter controls on the next big round of coronavirus aid funding

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“We need transparency, control and accountability,” he said.

Our and federal research found that this was not the case with PPP.

In his report, the inspector general said trying to get money quickly from the Small Business Administration to companies that needed it opened the door to fraud and estimated 55,000 loans went to potentially ineligible companies.

“SBA’s efforts to raise capital into businesses came at the expense of controls that may have reduced the likelihood of ineligible or fraudulent businesses obtaining a PPP loan. As a result, there is limited assurance that loans have only been made to eligible recipients, ”DeFoor said.

DeFoor said, under the plan, the state and local governments should take the time to put safeguards in place to ensure the money is not wasted or wasted. He has proposed a public-private partnership of accountants and investigators to oversee the allocations.

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“You will never stop cheating. It’s just a reality. However, if you have the right processes in place, you can definitely mitigate this, ”he said.

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