Questions as to where the trillions of dollars in federal taxpayer COVID funding have gone have been looming for years. Yet, there do not seem to be any solid answers, which indicates a significant chunk of the money has gone to waste, and in this case, the wallets of corrupt government officials.
A former state senator was accused Thursday of lying in order to get a COVID-19 relief loan for his casino and using the money to buy luxury cars for himself and his wife, a Republican leader in the New Hampshire House.
The allegations against former Sen. Andy Sanborn were announced by the attorney general’s office, which reviews the owners of charitable gaming businesses every five years. Sanborn owns the Concord Casino within The Draft Sports Bar and Grill in Concord and is seeking to open a much larger venue a few miles away, but the state lottery commission is now moving to permanently ban him from operating any such business.
In an email, Sanborn said he strongly disagrees with the commission’s findings and welcomes the chance to challenge them at a hearing.
“I have full confidence our actions were transparent and in complete accordance of the law,” he said.
In a statement, Attorney General John Formella noted that his office’s obligation “to protect the public demands that we take action against any person who is found to have used their regulated casino to enrich themselves with fraudulently obtained taxpayer funds.”
The issue centers on the fact that casinos were not eligible to receive COVID relief funding. Sanborn is alleged to have left out the name of his business when applying for funds with the Small Business Administration. Instead, he indicated that his primary business activity was “miscellaneous services.”
Well, that doesn’t look good, does it?
Apparently, Sanborn and his wife were living large off taxpayer largesse according to the attorney general’s office, which alleges that he spent $181,000 on two Porsche cars and a $80,000 Ferrari for his wife.
If the accusations are accurate, this news is particularly disturbing when looking at the bigger picture concerning the use of COVID relief funds. Since the pandemic began, Congress passed six COVID-related pieces of legislation, which amounted to a whopping $5 trillion in relief spending.
Taxpayers Against Fraud (TAF) noted that only about $1 for every $12,000 was allocated to promoting oversight of the use of the funds. Apparently, our intrepid elected officials were not too concerned about where these trillions of dollars were going, were they? It can be no wonder that Americans are now wondering where all that cash went.
But it gets even worse. TAF’s report also notes that a gargantuan chunk of these funds remain unspent and unsupervised, meaning that there could be plenty of Sanborns out there milking the system for their own benefit instead of letting the money go to regular folks who actually need it. It lends credibility to the idea that COVID relief funds were merely a massive wealth redistribution program that only placed more money in the hands of the wealthy and powerful, doesn’t it?
Sanborn’s case provides another glaring example of what could be a far-reaching issue. It also further illustrates the cavalier attitude with which our elected officials spend the money they take from hard-working Americans, who could probably use that money to offset the impact of inflation and other economic woes. Once again, we have another story showing how the government solves problems by creating more problems. The question is: When will we the people decide that enough is enough?