Early Pandemic Response Lacked Proper Checks and Balances
The suspicious payments were made early on in the pandemic when the Trump administration was eager to stimulate the economy and less worried about fraudulent claims. Applicants were not checked against the Treasury Department's "Do Not Pay" list. Controls improved as the pandemic shock wore off, but much of the money was already disbursed by then.
Fraudulent Pandemic Loan Payments: The Aftermath
The Pandemic Response Accountability Council (PRAC), a consortium of inspectors general tasked with monitoring pandemic spending, found $5.4 billion in potential identity fraud across 69,323 questionable and unverified SSNs in disbursed COVID-19 EIDL and PPP applications. This was reported in their recent report.