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In March 2020, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and
Economic Security (“CARES”) Act, which provided $2.2
trillion in economic relief. The Act was designed to quickly
get money to millions of Americans suffering from the pandemic.
Unfortunately, this relief provided ample opportunity for
fraud. As the COVID pandemic begins to ease, the Department
of Justice’s efforts to prosecute this COVID-19 fraud is
intensifying. To date, the Department has charged nearly 500
defendants with criminal offenses for attempted fraud in excess of
$550 million. The focus of the prosecutions have been schemes
targeting the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster
Loan program, Unemployment Insurance programs, and relief funds for
health care providers.
Anticipating that fraudsters would attempt to…