BOSTON (CBS) – Maureen McCormack and Ron Corey’s Maine home is not a dental office. “Neither of us are dentists,” McCormack said.
The retired couple recently found out their names, Social Security numbers and home address were used to get Small Business Administration (SBA) loans for a fictitious dental practice.
“It would take all of 15 seconds on Google to show that these businesses don’t exist. I really don’t understand what the SBA looks at to approve business loans if they are not looking to see if there’s a business,” Corey said.
“Generally, banks don’t give loans to people who don’t have incomes,” McCormack said.
“Neither one of us have an income,” Corey said.
The couple said they are now getting bills for interest on more than $50,000 in loans.
“I don’t have to pay it right now, but they are charging me interest. … For a loan I did not take out,” McCormack said
Investigations conducted by the Inspector General for the SBA found thousands of cases like McCormack and Corey’s. A recent report showing widespread fraud that “resulted in billions of dollars being distributed to potentially ineligible entities or fraudsters because of errors, weaknesses in controls and fraud.”
“It was an open invitation for abuse,” said Gregg Sullivan of the government watchdog group The Pioneer Institute.
McCormack and Corey have filed complaints with the Inspector General’s Office.
“We have had no communication from the Office of the Inspector General. We’ve written them a total of six letters,” Corey said. “There’s more fraud than there is actually people getting the money that need it.”
The SBA said it does not discuss specific cases and is working to resolve fraud and identity theft reports. The Inspector General said many reports have already led to criminal investigations.