Oklahoma U.S. Attorneys Combat Stimulus Fraud
By | June 28, 2022 2:59 pm

The U.S. Attorneys in Oklahoma are doing their part to make sure stimulus money isn’t wasted, setting up a toll-free hotline for residents and government employees to call if they suspect fraud, waste, or abuse of $26 billion in stimulus funds, reports News OK.

The toll-free number is (877) 259-7337.

FBI Special Agent James Finch indicated that all calls to the hotline will be taken by FBI agents.

Oklahoma’s three U.S. Attorneys took this opportunity to present a united front against stimulus fraud:

“There are unprecedented levels of federal funding coming into the state of Oklahoma as a result of the stimulus plan and with such unprecedented levels of funding comes understandably tremendous risk for fraud, for abuse and for waste of those monies if we’re not careful,” U.S. Attorney John Richter said at a news conference.

U.S. Attorney Sheldon Sperling, based in Muskogee, said most people are honest, but violators of the law will be punished.

U.S. Attorney David O’Meilia, based in Tulsa, said economic crimes are crimes of opportunity.

“With those billions of dollars in stimulus funding coming to Oklahoma, even a small percentage of fraud would result in substantial taxpayer losses,” he said. “One percent is $26 million worth of fraud.”

State Auditor and Inspector Steve Burrage is also watching over the use of stimulus money, assuring the public that he and his auditors will visit state agencies and monitor operations in the field.

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