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Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, during a hearing in Washington, D.C., US, on Tuesday, July 12, 2022. 

POLITICS: Sen. Durbin says his son was a victim of PPP fraud, calls for more oversight of federal COVID-19 funds

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Sen. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., pushed for more federal oversight of COVID-19 relief funds on Monday, saying that his own family was victim to fraud related to the Paycheck Protection Program. 

“I think that a lot of money was wasted and stolen,” Durbin told reporters on Capitol Hill. 

“I have a family example where my son was accused of defaulting on a $140,000 PPP loan for the Durbin construction company. There’s no Durbin construction company,” he said. “Somebody had stolen his identity and secured [a] $140,000 loan.”

Senator Dick Durbin, a Democrat from Illinois and chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, during a hearing in Washington, D.C., US, on Tuesday, July 12, 2022. 
(Ting Shen/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Fraud related to PPP loans could be upwards of $100 billion, Department of Justice Inspector General and Pandemic Response Accountability Committee Chair Michael Horowitz told Fox News earlier this year. 

The revelation about Durbin’s family came during a discussion about Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis flying 50 migrants to Martha’s Vineyard last week, which the Washington Post first reported was done using federal COVID-19 funds. 

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The American Rescue Plan set aside about $350 billion for states and local governments through the Coronavirus State Fiscal Recovery Fund. Interest on earnings associated with Florida’s share of those funds, about $12 million, were appropriated to the Department of Transportation to implement a “program to facilitate the transport of unauthorized aliens from this state consistent with federal law.”

“The legislature gave me $12 million,” DeSantis said at a press conference on Friday. “We’re going to spend every penny of that to make sure that we’re protecting the people of the state of Florida.”

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Sen. Durbin called the flights to Martha’s Vineyard a “political stunt.” 

“He’s moving people from Texas to Martha’s Vineyard. For goodness’ sake that money should be spent at least for the people of Florida and for a good purpose.”

Fox News’ Kelly Phares contributed to this report. 



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