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...
COVID Frauds of the Week: PPP Loan Scams Continue, NFL Player Charged
Another week in the time of COVID-19 brings another round of conspiracy and fraud charges in connection with relief programs designed to provide emergency financial assistance to Americans suffering from the pandemic’s economic fallout. We continue to highlight federal prosecutors’ work to stop scams that take advantage of these crucial programs:
NFL player Joshua Bellamy was arrested and charged in a federal...
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: Price Gouging, Unapproved Treatments, and a Dead CEO
COVID-19 fraudsters really delivered this week, wherein we saw price gouging on masks, peddling of unproven “treatments” for COVID-19, and fraudulently-obtained PPP money spent on real estate, luxury goods, and personal—sometimes very personal—entertainment.
Starting in Pennsylvania, the Attorney General announced this week that two medical supply companies—American Surgical Supply and Keystone Medical...
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....
Auto parts distributor CWD Holdings LLC, which does business as Centric Parts, will pay $8 million to resolve claims in False Claims Act cases brought by two whistleblowers, Steven Hughes and Jeffrey Hawk. The government alleged that over the course of ten years the defendant imported brake pads, falsely identifying them as unmounted brake pads, which are not subject to any tariff, when they were, in fact, mounted brake pads, which are subject to a 2.5% tariff. Defendant thereby knowingly evaded millions of dollars in customs duties. The whistleblowers will share a $1.48 million whistleblower award. USAO ED MI; USAO CD CA
Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund Launches COVID-19 Anti-Fraud Task Force
Earlier this month, Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund (TAFEF)—an anti-fraud public interest organization founded in 1986—launched a task force comprised of former government officials, subject matter experts, and experienced False Claims Act attorneys to help federal and state law enforcement prevent and punish COVID-related fraud. TAFEF, which has a network of more than 400 attorneys across the country who...
A COVID-19 Pesticide, Unproven Treatments, and Splashing Out On SBA’s Dime
The US DOJ continued its efforts to combat the sale of unproven and unregistered COVID-19 treatments and preventatives and charged purported “business owners” for CARES and PPP funds fraud this week.A Georgia woman pleaded guilty to selling an unregistered pesticide, in violation of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA). Rong “Vicky” Sun, 34, of Fayetteville, Georgia, will be...
Fraudsters Beware: Flurry of Recent Actions in Enforcement Show that Contracting Fraud is a Priority
Four recent state and federal actions indicate that government contracting fraud cases are in the spotlight. These actions all stemmed from alleged violations of laws that give certain businesses, such as, small, minority-owned, or veteran-owned businesses, advantages in obtaining government contracts. These contracts are often called “preference” or “set-aside” contracts and the goal of these laws is to...