Updated: Sep 13
Weekly Newsletter | August 14, 2020 | Subscribe
COVID-19 Related Fraud
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------- CNBC: Americans, who have lost $100 million to fraud related to Covid-19, continue to be a target According to the Federal Trade Commission, Americans have lost about $106 million to fraud related to COVID-19. As lawmakers are in the process of debating a second round of relief efforts, consumers should be cautious of increased fraud.
Washington Business Journal: A PPP ‘double dip’: Some of D.C.’s biggest developers scored multiple loans to weather coronavirus crisis This content is behind a paywall — Some of DC’s biggest developers, relying on a web of affiliated companies to submit multiple applications, scored numerous loan approvals through the Paycheck Protection Program. Experts fear smaller companies were shut out as a result.
TAFEF News: Looking Back on TARP as the Pandemic Continues The government’s response from the 2008 financial crisis can serve as an important and relevant case study to understand the COVID-related law enforcement that will play out in 2020.
Dept. of Justice: Five Charged in Connection with an over $4 Million Paycheck Protection Program Fraud Scheme Five individuals were charged in an indictment with fraudulently obtaining more than $4 million in the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans. The loans were allegedly used, in part, to purchase luxury vehicles; however, authorities have also seized $125,000, jewelry, over $120,000 in cash, and over $3 million from 10 bank accounts at the time of arrest.
TAFEF News: Now More Than Ever, For-Profit Nursing Homes Need Oversight Many of these for-profit providers have been the recipient of legal allegations of fraud and Medicare abuse, therefore leaving some weary of the large amounts of money funneling into this sector.
Dept. of Justice: Three Men Who Allegedly Used Existing Shell Companies and Prior Fraud Experience to Exploit Covid-19 Relief Programs Charged in South Florida Federal Court One Florida man and two Massachusetts men have been charged for their alleged participation in a fraud and money laundering ring that was established in 2019 to carry out business email compromise-schemes and that defendants allegedly used to steal close to $2 million from Covid-19 relief programs.
TAFEF News: Expansion of Existing Health Care Fraud Schemes in the Time of COVID-19 While new schemes will emerge, existing fraud schemes are being adapted and expanded to target funds related to the COVID-19 response.
STL News: Justice Department Acts to Shut Down Fraudulent Websites Exploiting The COVID-19 Pandemic The Department of Justice announced that it obtained a Temporary Restraining Order in federal court to combat fraud related to the coronavirus pandemic. The order will require that the registrar and registries of defendants’ fraudulent websites, allegedly amounting to 300, take immediate action to disable them.
Dept. of Justice: District Man Charged with Over $2 Million in Paycheck Protection Program and Related Loan Fraud A Washington, D.C. man was arrested and charged by a criminal complaint with fraudulently obtaining over $2.1 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans and Economic Injury Disaster Loans (“EIDL”). These loans were allegedly used to purchase a $300,000 yacht, a $1.13 million rowhouse, and a $46,000 luxury sports sedan.
TAFEF News: Rising PPP Fraud Shows the Importance of Oversight Efforts The role of oversight groups and whistleblowers will be crucial in deterring fraud and mismanagement of not only the Small Business Administration loans but also other grants and funds to alleviate the current crisis.
Dept. of Justice: Georgia man and his company charged with selling misbranded drug advertised to treat COVID-19 A Georgia man and his company have been charged with violating the Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act (FDCA) by selling a drug claiming to treat COVID-19. Fusion Health and Vitality, LLC d/b/a/ Pharm Origins is accused of selling a misbranded drug called “Immune Shot” that they falsely claimed would lower consumer’s risk of contracting COVID-19 by nearly 50 percent.
TAFEF News: In the Coronavirus Pandemic, Whistleblower Protections Are More Important than Ever It will take a robust effort in order to provide accountability for actions undertaken by private corporations during the course of the pandemic.
TAFEF News: Whistleblowers in Higher Education are Necessary to Prevent Abuse of COVID-19 Relief As money could continue to funnel into higher education institutions, it is essential that the ways in which taxpayer dollars are spent aligns with the goals of the CARES Act and the Department of Education.
ABC News: Las Vegas woman accused of fraud to get nearly $600,000 in COVID-19 relief A Las Vegas woman was charged with committing fraud to get nearly $600,000 from COVID-19 related loans. She has been accused of making several false and misleading statements on six applications to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). She received nearly $600,000 via five of her loan applications and applied for applied for another $500,000 loan that was not dispersed.
Case Settlements & Opinions
Physician’s Mobile X-Ray which provides mobile imaging services, including x-rays, ultrasounds and cardiac services has agreed to pay $49,759 to resolve potential liability under the False Claims Act. Physician’s Mobile X-Ray allegedly billed Medicare for the transportation component of X-Ray equipment when x-ray services were provided to more than one Medicare beneficiary at the same location during the same trip. The United States alleged that Physician’s Mobile X-Ray failed to apportion its charges between 2014 and 2019, leading to overcharges to Medicare.