By JENNIFER McDERMOTT, Associated Press

The U.S. Secret Service says nearly $100 billion has been stolen from COVID-19 relief programs set up to help businesses and people who lost their jobs due to the pandemic.

The staggering sum represents but a small percentage, less than 3%, of pandemic benefits program funds.

The estimate is based on Secret Service cases and data from the Labor Department and the Small Business Administration.

It doesn't include cases handled by the Justice Department.

Roy Dotson is the national pandemic fraud recovery coordinator for the Secret Service. He says his agency has more than 900 active criminal investigations into pandemic fraud.

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