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November 18, 2021

LA-Based COVID Scheme Resulted in 17-Year Prison Sentence

On November 16,  DOJ reported that seven individuals  were sentenced for scheming to fraudulently obtain over $20M from the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loan COVID-10 relief funds. Ushering COVID relief funds into the wrong pockets has been an issue since the inception of the CARES Act and continues to prevent intended recipients from obtaining much needed relief. Following adoption of the CARES Act, the Fraud Section has prosecuted more than150 defendants in over 95 criminal cases; has seized more than $75M in cash proceeds from fraudulently obtained PPP funds; and has seized numerous luxury items and real estate properties purchased with such proceeds. Preventing pandemic-related fraud has become a central focus of the DOJ and the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force. Individuals and organizations should remain on high alert internally and externally for fraudulent activities to combat misconduct undermining critical relief.