Luetkemeyer: Another Inspector General Report Confirms: The SBA’s EIDL Program is Wrought with Potential Fraud
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Ranking Member Blaine Luetkemeyer (R-MO) issued the following statement on the Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Inspector General report highlighting potentially fraudulent activity within the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications:
“Fraud has been a continuing theme for the SBA’s EIDL program. The SBA is not outfitted with the necessary infrastructure to manage large-scale and direct loan programs such as EIDL. As a result, EIDL has been wrought with potential fraud. The latest SBA Inspector General report shows $1.3 billion was disbursed to foreign IP addresses. While not necessarily meaning that all of these applications are fraudulent, it suggests there are many oversight and fraud control questions that need to be answered by the SBA. That’s $1.3 billion of taxpayer money potentially disbursed to criminals. With the already challenging task of recovering fraudulent funds now compounded with potential foreign criminal elements, the SBA requires significant programmatic reforms to prevent even more losses,” said Ranking Member Luetkemeyer.
SBA OIG Report 22-17: COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan Applications Submitted from Foreign IP Addresses stated:
“Although the agency implemented several layers of controls to prevent or reduce fraud from foreign countries, individuals at foreign IP addresses were able to access the COVID-19 EIDL application system. SBA received millions of attempts to submit COVID-19 EIDL applications from foreign IP addresses and stopped most of them; however, the agency processed more than 233,000 of these applications from March 20, 2020 to November 12, 2021, our review period. Of this amount, SBA approved and disbursed 41,638 COVID-19 EIDLs, advances, and grants for $1.3 billion… The numerous applications submitted from foreign IP addresses are an indication of potential fraud that may involve international criminal organizations.”