COVID Frauds of the Week: Fraudulently Claiming PPP Loans
This week, DOJ took action against two large alleged frauds on the Paycheck Protection Program. In Hawaii and North Carolina, individuals were charged with fraudulently claiming loans from the critical relief program.
In North Carolina, Tristan Pan found himself charged with wire and bank fraud, plus unlawful monetary transactions, for an alleged scheme to get bogus PPP loans. He allegedly cooked up a series of...
Putting a Stop to Illegal Imports from Forced Uyghur Labor
The world has watched in horror as, starting in 2018, up to two million Uyghurs and other ethnic minorities have been arrested, relocated, or otherwise forced into internment centers in the Xinjiang Uyghur Autonomous Region in China. The government of the People’s Republic of China has separated thousands of Uyghur children from parents, forced methods of control on women, and inflicted physical and psychological...
COVID Frauds of the Week: More PPP and PPE Fraudsters, and an Update
Attorney General William P. Barr announced the results of his Payroll Protection Program (PPP) Criminal Fraud Enforcement Action this week, and noted that as of August 8, 2020, over 5.2 million loans had been approved, with a total federal expenditure of over $525 billion in federal business support expenditures. The downside is that Paycheck Protection Program fraudsters have cost the government over $70 million in...
How Whistleblowers Can Report Fraud Related to Clinical Trials
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the importance of government-funded scientific and medical research, including clinical trials of vaccines, treatments, and more. We are all potentially at risk if there is fraud and abuse in clinical trials and other research.
Individuals with knowledge of fraud and misconduct in federal grants and clinical trials may be able to bring a whistleblower action for that research...
Top Takeaways from Former DOJ Civil Chief Jody Hunt on the Current State of False Claims Act Enforcement
Law360 recently interviewed former DOJ Civil Chief Jody Hunt on what he sees as the key issues surrounding False Claims Act enforcement these days. Here are the top takeaways:
COVID-relief fraud will be a DOJ priority. No surprise there given the billions of dollars the federal government is pouring into the economy to alleviate some of the financial strain the pandemic is wreaking on healthcare providers...
COVID Frauds of the Week: More Price Gouging and PPP Fraud
As the COVID-19 pandemic remains omnipresent in our daily lives, so too do the fraudsters who seek to capitalize on the crisis and line their own pockets. Fortunately, government regulators have remained vigilant in rooting out fraud and protecting the public. Just in the past week, federal prosecutors have busted two large schemes seeking to profit off other's pain.
First, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for...
COVID Frauds of the Week: Fraud on Stimulus Programs and Consumers
Like the virus itself, fraud that exploits the COVID-19 pandemic just will not go away, so we are back with another installment of our continuing series highlighting related government enforcement actions. This week, we saw a continued enforcement focus in two areas: fraud on stimulus programs and consumers.
Three charges this week highlighted the government’s ongoing efforts to expose and bring...
Constantine Cannon Client Slams the Brakes on Customs Fraud in $8 Million Settlement Against Auto Parts Distributor Centric Parts
Steve Hughes, a whistleblower represented by Constantine Cannon, slammed the brakes on a long-running scheme by his former employer to evade customs duties, resulting in an $8 million settlement of the whistleblower’s False Claims Act lawsuit against CWD, LLC. The Carson, CA-based company, which does business as Centric Parts, is one of the largest aftermarket brake and chassis parts distributors in North America....
Prisoner turned whistleblower speaks out after uncovering massive stimulus fraud
After discovering that various Utah government entities had misappropriated millions in federal grant dollars following the 2008 economic bailout, Reginald Williams filed a qui tam lawsuit in early 2015 to report the fraud to the United States. Williams’s claims initiated a federal investigation and lawsuit accusing criminal justice agencies in Utah of grant fraud. When the government intervened and the case became...
This week’s COVID-19 frauds centered on (temporarily) successful attempts to receive Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds for nonexistent companies and fabricated or inflated employee headcounts.
First up is the owner of a wedding planning company that sought personal enrichment via more than $3 million in forgivable PPP loans for his 120 nonexistent employees. Fahad Shah, 44, of Murphy, Texas, was arrested...