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 had vaccine kits available and charging individuals for the kits through their credit cards. There are no vaccines for the COVID-19 virus currently.
While the government has shut down the website as part of a civil action, this may develop into a criminal prosecution. Regardless, it is a sign that the DOJ will be aggressive in pursuing fraud and other crimes during this pandemic, especially if the pandemic lasts as long as many experts are forecasting.
To read the DOJ’s press release, click here.
To read our firm’s page on wire fraud charges, click here.