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Feds Begin Targeting “COVID-19 Fraud”

March 24, 2020. On Sunday, the Department of Justice released a press release announcing its first enforcement action to “combat fraud related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.” The federal government filed the action in Austin, TX accusing operators of the website “coronavirusmedicalkit.com” of engaging in wire fraud. The website operators were fraudulently advertising that they …

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Getting released from federal prison early due to coronavirus concerns

The coronavirus, also referred to as COVID-19, has changed virtually every aspect of the way we are living our lives, from practicing “social distancing” to shutting down our favorite bars and restaurants. We are also seeing millions of people quarantine themselves or “self-isolate” to prevent getting sick or spreading the coronavirus to others. Unfortunately, not …

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We may be approaching the legal limits of coronavirus restrictions

Federal, state and local governments are becoming more aggressive in trying to stop the spread of the coronavirus by imposing even tougher restrictions. Given the severity of this crisis, it is understandable and expected that we will continue to see “shelter in place” orders, forced business and school closings, restrictions on public gatherings, and other …

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BOP Staff Sound the Alarm on Conditions During COVID-19 Pandemic

This week, the BOP reported that at least two of its staff members tested positive for the coronavirus after interacting with inmates. Staff members are also complaining about a shortage of masks, soap, gloves, and other equipment to help limit the spread of the disease. In one facility, a busload of inmates with fevers arrived …

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DOJ Announces Task Force to Investigate Nursing Homes for Neglect and Abuse

Earlier this month, the Department of Justice announced that it has created a task force to investigate nursing homes for neglect and abuse of elderly residents as part of its National Nursing Home Initiative. The task force was created to “focus on poor hygiene and nutrition, withholding pain medication, using sedation or restraints when they …

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Fed and Ohio Law Enforcement Arrest 35 Alleged DTO Members

The DOJ announced that it had charged 35 individuals with drug conspiracy charges based on allegations that they were members of an alleged drug trafficking organization (“DTO”) in the Mansfield, Ohio area. Through four separate indictments, the defendants are charged with distributing heroin, meth, cocaine, fentanyl and fentanyl analogues, carfentanil, marijuana, oxycodone, and crack. Click …

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Atlanta Feds Charge Dozens in $30 Million Money Laundering Operation

The DOJ announced that it has arrested 24 people for their involvement in a large-scale fraud and money laundering operation involving phishing scams, romance fraud scams, and retirement account scams. The defendants are accused of serving as money launderers for a variety of other individuals who engaged in cyber-enabled fraud. The defendants and their co-conspirators …

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SCOTUS Postpones Oral Arguments

The Supreme Court announced that it was postponing oral arguments in at least a dozen cases in light of the spread of the coronavirus, citing a prior postponement in 1918 during the Spanish Flu outbreak. There is no timeline for rescheduling the cases, which include cases involving the Fourth Amendment and the statute of limitations …

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Police Departments Try to Trick Drug Offenders Using the Coronavirus

In an attempt to go after some low hanging fruit, or perhaps as a practical joke, several police departments across the country have sent out posts on social media offering to tests methamphetamine and other drugs for the presence of coronavirus. One such post from a Florida police department advises that people who fear that …

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SCOTUS to Consider Limits on Life Sentences for Juveniles

The Supreme Court announced that it would take up the case in Jones v. Mississippi, No. 18-1259, where the defendant stabbed his grandfather to death when he was 15 years old. The Court will consider under what circumstances courts can sentence juveniles to life without parole. The defendant was sentenced to life without parole under …

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