Happy Tuesday and welcome back to On The Money. I’m Sylvan Lane, and here’s your nightly guide to everything affecting your bills, bank account and bottom line.



a man and a woman wearing a suit and tie: On The Money: Pelosi, citing 'leverage' over Trump, holds strong to $2.2T in COVID-19 aid | McConnell to force vote on 'targeted' relief bill next week | Trump again asks court to shield tax records


© Greg Nash
On The Money: Pelosi, citing ‘leverage’ over Trump, holds strong to $2.2T in COVID-19 aid | McConnell to force vote on ‘targeted’ relief bill next week | Trump again asks court to shield tax records

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THE BIG DEAL-Pelosi, citing ‘leverage’ over Trump, holds strong to $2.2T in COVID-19 aid: Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Tuesday shot down entreaties from some Democrats to cut a $1.8 trillion deal with the White House on coronavirus relief, arguing that President Trump’s pleas for Congress to “go big” have given her leverage to hold out for more aid.

“I appreciate the, shall we say, a couple people saying, ‘Take it, take it, take it,'” Pelosi said in a phone conference with Democrats, according to source on the call. “Take it? Take it? Even the president is saying, ‘Go big or go home.'”

  • Pelosi and Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin have been in near-daily talks in search of an elusive stimulus agreement, even as the prospect of a deal before the Nov. 3 elections has faded.
  • Mnuchin last week had offered a $1.8 trillion package, up from an earlier proposal of $1.6 trillion, prompting a growing number of House Democrats to urge the Speaker to come down from her $2.2 trillion proposal.
  • That figure was already a reduction from the Democrats’ $3.4

Updated

WORCESTER, Mass. (AP) — More than 550 employees of Worcester have been targeted in a nationwide unemployment insurance benefits scam, city officials say.

The scam involves identity thieves using the victims’ personal information to file claims for unemployment benefits.

The city received about 40 fraudulent claims from March to mid-August, Dori Vecchio, the city’s human resources director told The Telegram & Gazette. Since then, more than 500 have come in, she said.


Employees in every department have been targeted. About 100 people who work for the Fire Department and another 100 who work for the schools have been affected. The city employs about 6,800.

“Several high-ranking officials and elected officials in the city have been compromised,” Vecchio said.



Schools Superintendent Maureen Binienda said she has been targeted three times.

Security experts say much of the fraud appears to be committed by scammers using personal information stolen from earlier commercial data breaches or direct attacks on state systems.

The state Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development said between March 8 and June 30, almost 60,000 of 1.6 million unemployment claims were determined to be fraudulent. Information on claims filed since July 1 has not been made public.


The Department of Unemployment Assistance did not say how much has been stolen.

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LIBRARIES REOPEN

Two branches of the New Bedford Free Public Library system and several city offices are scheduled to reopen on Tuesday, according to a statement Monday from Mayor Jonathan Mitchell’s office.


The Lawler and Wilks library branches will be open four hours per day with limited browsing with social distancing, and grab-and-go book pickup.

Three city departments are also scheduled to reopen for limited in-person services. The Health Department, Veterans’ Services Department, and Licensing Board offices will reopen from 9

Alok Sharma, business secretary, launched the scheme to help out ailing businesses. Photo: Leon Neal/Pool via Reuters
Alok Sharma, business secretary, launched the scheme to help out ailing businesses. Photo: Leon Neal/Pool via Reuters

The UK’s National Crime Agency has joined other institutions in warning on the risk of emergency taxpayer-backed loans for small business being targeted by criminals.

The agency said there was intelligence that the Bounce Back loan scheme was being exploited by organised crime, according to a report in The Times on Saturday.

This follows warnings from the sate bank in charge of two COVID-19 support programmes that the schemes risked widespread fraud and poor value for money.

Keith Morgan, chief executive of the British Business Bank, twice wrote to business minister Alok Sharma in May raising concerns about the Bounce Back loan scheme and the Future Fund.

Billions has been leant and invested through both programmes. Bounce Back loans provide a 100% state guarantee to lenders offering low-interest loans. The support is capped at £50,000 ($65,000) per small business.

In a letter published on Wednesday, Morgan said the Bounce Back loan scheme was at risk of “very significant fraud.”

An investigation by the Mail on Sunday in August has also found fraudsters and criminals appear to be targeting the programme.

READ MORE: UK warned of ‘very high’ risk of Bounce Back loan fraud

On top of other agencies’ concern, in recent months, the National Audit Office and parliament’s Public Accounts Committee have both launched investigations into the value for money and fraud risk of the Bounce Back loan scheme.

Part of the problem is that in order to transfer the money to businesses at speed, banks have bypassed many of their credit policies. Applicants also self-certify eligibility.

The NCA told The Times it was working with banks and other agencies to clamp down on the scheme.

About £38bn has so far been lent