Saturday, March 12, 2022

Justice Department appoints prosecutor to investigate COVID-19 fraud; Justice Department reports more than $8 billion in alleged fraud tied to federal coronavirus aid programs, and other C-Virus related stories

Justice Department appoints prosecutor to investigate COVID-19 fraud:
The United States will begin aggressively targeting COVID-19 fraud, with the government appointing a prosecutor tasked with pursuing misconduct related to coronavirus relief funds.
The Justice Department announced Kevin Chambers would take the reins as the director for COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement and oversee strike teams tasked with hunting down fraudsters who illegally procured pandemic relief funds.
"Our Strike Teams will enhance the department’s existing efforts and will include analysts and data scientists to review data, agents to investigate the cases, and prosecutors and trial attorneys to bring charges and try the cases," Chambers said.
Chambers currently works as the associate deputy attorney general in the Justice Department. He plans to focus on "large-scale criminal enterprises and foreign actors" who committed fraud. He will oversee multiple strike teams that will analyze specific components of the colossal pandemic aid. The efforts will include both criminal and civil enforcement actions. --->READ MORE HERE
Justice Department reports more than $8 billion in alleged fraud tied to federal coronavirus aid programs:
Since the U.S. government first marshaled its historic economic response to the coronavirus pandemic, the Justice Department has uncovered a vast array of alleged fraud, resulting in charges and investigations involving more than $8 billion in federal aid.
The figures, revealed by the agency on Thursday, prompted the DOJ to redouble its enforcement efforts — chiefly through the appointment of a new director now tasked to carry out President Biden’s mission to pursue “the criminals who stole billions in relief money.”
The extent of the fraud alleged and uncovered by the Justice Department is vast, touching nearly every major facet of the roughly $6 trillion that Congress adopted over a two-year period to support families, workers and businesses.
In some of the cases, suspects wrongfully obtained federal loans to bolster companies that did not actually exist. In others, large, transnational crime syndicates stole workers’ identities to receive generous unemployment benefits under someone else’s name. And in a series of additional allegations that struck at the very heart of Americans’ pandemic anxieties, federal officials charged a litany of actors who promised tests, which proved faulty, or cures that turned out to be fake — then at times submitted fake Medicare claims to the government for reimbursement.
Yet the shady schemes and other crimes reported by the Justice Department also reflected a potentially significant undercount. Federal officials on Thursday could tally only the cases and charges already brought or closed — not the tens of billions of dollars still under review. The looming threat of further criminal activity prompted Attorney General Merrick Garland to stress in a statement Thursday the government would use “every available federal tool” to pursue such fraud. --->READ MORE HERE
Follow links below to relevant/related stories and resources:

US extends mask mandate for planes, trains by 30 more days

Pfizer Starts Testing Its Covid-19 Pill in Children

USA TODAY: Coronavirus Updates

WSJ: Coronavirus Live Updates

YAHOO NEWS: Coronavirus Live Updates

NEW YORK POST: Coronavirus The Latest

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