Street gangs in the U.S. and foreign criminal syndicates may have stolen up to half of the unemployment benefits paid out during the pandemic, according to a report cited by Axios.
As the United States has been pumping out unemployment benefits over the past year, an Axios report reveals some estimates show “unemployment fraud during the pandemic could easily reach $400 billion.”
The report shows the majority of the money could likely be the result of foreign crime syndicates, which ultimately means this is not just theft but could be a matter of national security.
A major part of the problem arose because the money was sent to recipients through the often antiquated unemployment system of the states.
These were easier to defraud rather than the IRS tax systems the federal government used to distribute the direct stimulus payments. At the time, states’ systems were not fully prepared to handle