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‘Fraud’ Is a Banned Word in U.S. Aid Program Awash With It (1)

Nov. 20, 2020, 6:44 PM

A U.S. agency facing mounting scrutiny over how it doled out checks from a $212 billion pandemic relief program has privately directed employees not to use the word “fraud” in writing if they spot suspicious applications.

Workers reviewing requests for the Small Business Administration’s Covid-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan program have instead been told by managers to use alternative phrases, such as “duplicate,” according to four people who received the instructions and asked not to be identified discussing internal policies. The terms varied among teams and could be misleading, the people said.

The rationale given to some employees: Aid documents...

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