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We all have the heroic image of a United States Secret Service Agent in our minds: neat suit, earpiece, Ray Ban sunglasses, walking along a bullet proof limousine or walking close to the leader they are protecting. It turns out, those agents have superhero capes on under their suits, because they do a lot more than protect our leaders! The Secret Service Agent also fights fraud crime. On August 26th, 2022, the U.S. Secret Service Agency recovered $286 million in fraudulently obtained pandemic loans and returned the money to the Small Business Administration.

The Secret Service has primary jurisdiction to investigate all threats against the whole United States, not just the President and Vice President. These investigations include crimes against the financial infrastructure of the United States, such as counterfeiting of U.S. currency, forgery or theft of U.S. Treasury checks, and computer fraud, and identify fraud, as well as certain crimes affecting federally insured financial institutions, like Green Dot, a federally insured online bank.

In a recent investigation, the Secret Service found a large group of conspirators that had filed fraudulent COVID-19 aid applications using fake or stolen employment and personal information and then used Green Dot to conceal and move their criminal proceeds. Fifteen thousand accounts had been identified as accounts opened with fraudulent COVID-19 funds, totaling $286 million, all of which was returned to the Small Business Administration. This is actually small change for what the Secret Service has done. Overall, since 2020, the Secret Service initiated more than 3,850 pandemic related fraud investigations and have seized over $3.7 billion in fraudulently obtained loan funds and state unemployment insurance programs. That seems like a superhero act if you ask me!

A big thanks to the U.S. Secret Service for their commitment to safeguarding the nation’s financial systems and holding those responsible for their criminal activity.

Today’s Fraud of the Day is based on an article “U.S. Secret Service has seized over $1.4B in fraudulent COVID-19 relief” published by US News on August 26, 2022

The U.S. Secret Service announced Friday that it has seized more than $1.4 billion in fraudulently obtained COVID-19 relief funds since 2020 after its latest haul of $286 million.A probe initiated by the Secret Service field office in Orlando, Fla., revealed that alleged conspirators used fake and stolen identification and employment records to obtain economic injury disaster loans, the federal law enforcement agency said in a statement.

The conspirators allegedly used Green Dot Bank, an online bank based in Utah, to set up more than 15,000 accounts and debit cards to “conceal and move their criminal proceeds.”Secret Service investigators worked with the bank to identify the fraudulent accounts and seize more than $286 million that has been returned to the Small Business Administration.

 

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.