Partnership with Special Inspector General to address COVID fraud
A new initiative launched by U.S. Attorney Christopher R. Kavanaugh will investigate COVID fraud in Western Virginia.
Kavanaugh and Special Inspector General Brian D. Miller of the Office of the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding to enhance their current cooperative efforts to investigate and prosecute fraud involving certain loans, loan guarantees, and investments made by the Secretary of the Treasury under the CARES Act of 2020, which included over $2 trillion in emergency financial assistance designed to provide immediate help for American businesses and individuals.
“We have already prosecuted dozens of individuals here in the Western District of Virginia for defrauding the federal government of hundreds of thousands of dollars provided by Congress to aid those in need during a global pandemic,” Kavanaugh said. “The partnership between the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Virginia and the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery will ensure this important work continues effectively.”
“This partnership with the Western District of Virginia will strengthen our efforts to ensure taxpayer investments in the CARES Act are protected. SIGPR continues to work with our law enforcement partners to identify and prosecute fraudsters who target vulnerable pandemic relief funds,” Special Inspector General Miller said.
The MOU outlines a series of objectives to ensure investigations are more effective:
- USAO will designate two Assistant United States Attorneys to serve as direct points of contact for the SIGPR-USAO partnership.
- USAO will utilize a streamlined process to accelerate case intake, legal process, and prosecution of CARES Act-related fraud; (3) USAO will designate a criminal paralegal and provide forensic audit support.
- SIGPR will provide investigative resources, or assist USAO in finding investigative resources from other law enforcement partners, to support prosecutions.
- SIGPR will refer any investigation it opens with activity within the Western District of Virginia to the USAO.
Virginians who believe they are victims or witnesses of fraudulent activity related to the pandemic should report it to the following:
For more information from the Department of Justice about reporting frauds related to the pandemic, see justice.gov/coronavirus.