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Stories, Stats, Impacts: Wyoming Public Media is here to keep you current on the news surrounding the coronavirus pandemic.

Americans across the nation took advantage of CARES Act monies, according to the IRS

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Tony Webster/Tony Webster
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Tony Webster, tonywebster.com
The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) Federal Building at 1111 Constitution Avenue Northwest, in Washington, DC. The building is home to the IRS, IRS Criminal Investigation agency (IRS-CI), and other U.S. Department of the Treasury offices.

The criminal investigation department of the IRS just released statistics on COVID-related fraud investigations conducted by the agency in the past two years.

Overall, the agency investigated 660 tax and money laundering cases related to COVID fraud totalling $1.8 billion. The agency said more cases will be opened in the future.

James Marcy, the supervisory special agent of the IRS criminal investigation that covers Wyoming, said it was unfortunate that people tried to take advantage of emergency financial assistance.

"There'll be these individuals and groups of people that will always find a way to orchestrate some type of scheme to defraud the government and the American people in law as well as the American tax dollars," said Marcy.

There are ongoing investigations in Wyoming but none of them are public yet since they are still in progress. Marcy said people get creative on how to get the money.

"These could include the fraudulent ways that individuals could obtain loans, through credit apps and also receiving payments that were actually meant for the American workers, families and small businesses," he said.

A Montana man recently pled guilty to falsely receiving COVID-19 relief. He has to pay back approximately $125,000 to the government.

In addition to reporting daily on the happenings in Northwest Wyoming, Kamila is also the producer of the Kids Ask WhY Podcast and the History Unloaded Podcast.Kamila has worked for public radio stations in California, New York, France and Poland. Originally from New York City, she loves exploring new places. Kamila received her master in journalism from Columbia University. In her spare time, she enjoys exploring the surrounding areas with her two pups and husband.
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