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Quarterly Report: Message from the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery

July 30, 2021

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act was an unprecedented infusion of cash into the domestic economy. Sadly, that investment has been prey to unprecedented levels of fraud and other crime. Already the Justice Department has charged nearly 500 persons with criminal offenses arising out of fraud schemes involving the pandemic. To that end, SIGPR is proudly partnering with law enforcement organizations, task forces, and United States Attorneys’ Offices from coast to coast to ensure that those who sought to profit illegally from the COVID-19 pandemic are brought to justice.

Last month was my first anniversary as Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery (SIGPR). When we published our first quarterly report in September 2020, we had an initial staff of 13 persons who were recruiting additional staff, developing audit protocols, and working on three complaints under review. I am now pleased to report that SIGPR is operational. We are now staffed by 46 full-time public servants working on two major audits of CARES Act programs and some 20 investigations, 16 of which SIGPR developed internally from our proactive efforts.

This growth has allowed us to begin or expand several important projects. We are particularly proud to report the launch of a SIGPR-initiated pilot project that will bring together several federal agencies to investigate significant pandemic relief fraud using, among other things, Bank Secrecy Act information. This pilot is one of several proactive efforts to further the “multiple-dipper” initiative that SIGPR began last year and highlighted in our very first report. Our audit work now includes Treasury’s Direct Loan Program, as well as the lenders and recipients of the Federal Reserve facility that provided Treasury-backed liquidity to the main street market.

We have built in-house expertise on CARES Act programs and their legal requirements. Additionally, we expanded our audit and investigative programs through the use of state-of-the-art data analytics, which includes a functional and interactive informational dataset of nearly 70 million rows of data covering billions of dollars of CARES Act funding.

To ensure this important work can continue, SIGPR respectfully requests that Congress grant SIGPR a place in the annual federal budget. The CARES Act gave SIGPR $25 million to carry out its duties for a five-year term. That lump sum appropriation, about $5 million per year, is not adequate to sustain our important investigative and audit work for the remainder of SIGPR’s term. We are undertaking important investigations and critical audits. Let’s not begin to wind down now. Consistent with the President’s budget proposal, we ask that Congress include SIGPR in the annual budget.

I am grateful for my dedicated and growing team at SIGPR, as well as for the invaluable public service by them and our partners in the inspector general and law enforcement communities.

Brian D. Miller
July 30, 2021


View the Quarterly Report to the Congress for the reporting period ending on June 30, 2021.