On March 10, 2022, the Department of Justice issued a press release announcing the appointment of a “Director for COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement,” a position that would head the DOJ’s criminal and civil enforcement actions relating to COVID-19 relief fraud. To date, the DOJ reports over $8 billion in alleged fraud, including PPP and EIDL loan fraud and unemployment insurance fraud. Associate Deputy Attorney General Kevin Chambers will serve as the Director and has given a preview of his approach and his priorities in targeting alleged fraud.
In his remarks, Chambers noted the DOJ is working with state governments and receiving data from them, especially relating to unemployment insurance fraud. Chambers also emphasized a “focus on large-scale criminal enterprises and foreign actors” and stated that his office would establish “Strike Teams to prepare for the next phase in the Justice Department’s efforts to fight pandemic fraud.”
Regarding PPP and EIDL loan fraud, the DOJ announced that “approximately 500 defendants have been charged in over 340 cases with alleged intended losses of over $700 million.” The DOJ also claims to have seized over $1 billion in EIDL loan fraud proceeds. Regarding unemployment insurance fraud, the DOJ announced that “over 430 defendants have been charged and arrested for federal offenses related to UI fraud.”
Click here to read the DOJ press release.
Click here for our COVID-19 Relief Fraud Tracker.