A soon-to-be-released report revealed that more than 100 suspected Nazi war criminals received millions of dollars in Social Security benefits over a 50+ year period.
The Associated Press reported that 133 suspected war criminals, SS guards, and others who worked with the Third Reich received $20.2 million in Social Security benefits between February 1962 and January 2015, according to a soon-to-be-released report by the inspector general of the Social Security Administration (SSA). The AP received a copy of the report.
Payments were cut off when the No Social Security for Nazis Act went into effect in January, cancelling payments for four beneficiaries. According to the AP, the report does not include any names. Still, the payments disbursed was greater than expected. The AP gives further background:
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The large amount of the benefits and their duration illustrate how unaware the American public was of the influx of Nazi persecutors into the US, with estimates ranging as high as 10,000. Many lied about their Nazi pasts to get into the US and even became American citizens. They got jobs and said little about what they did during the war.
AP found that the Justice Department used a legal loophole to persuade Nazi suspects to leave the US in exchange for Social Security benefits. If they agreed to go voluntarily, or simply fled the country before being deported, they could keep their benefits. The Justice Department denied using Social Security payments as a way to expel former Nazis.
According to the report, $5.6 million was paid to ex-Nazis before they were deported, while $14.5 million was paid to 95 suspected Nazis who remained in the United States but were suspected of or confirmed to have committed Nazi war crimes.
Of the larger group, about half died or fled the U.S. while their case was pending. Many settled with the U.S. government and were allowed to stay in the country for health reasons or in exchange for cooperation.
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h/t: The New York Post
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