Eastern District of CA Announces First Civil Settlement Related to CARES Act Fraud
The Eastern District of California announced the very first civil settlement to resolve allegations of fraud against the CARES Act Paycheck Protection Program. The agreement was entered into with SlideBelts, Inc., and its President, CFO and CEO, Brigham Taylor, for falsely certifying on its PPP applications to three financial institutions that they were not in bankruptcy when, in fact, they had been in the bankruptcy...
The Colonial Automotive Group, Inc., a chain of automobile dealerships, will pay $1 million to resolve allegations that they defrauded the Massachusetts state Department of Unemployment Assistance. The dealership allegedly encouraged employees who were furloughed as a result of the state’s COVID-19 in-person business closures to sign up for unemployment benefits. and then requested those workers continue to perform dealership work, without pay, while they were collecting state benefits. MA
DOJ Reports Decline in Total Fraud Recoveries in 2020, but Whistleblower Efforts and Rewards Continue
In its annual report of recoveries in fraud and False Claims Act cases, the Department of Justicereported total recoveries of $2.2 billion for the fiscal year ending September 2020. These recoveries represent the lowest reported DOJ recoveries since 2008.
While it is the decline in recoveries that stands out, the 2020 DOJ fraud statistics do share some things in common with prior years. First, whistleblowers...
Ducci Electrical Contractors, Inc. has agreed to pay more than $3.2 million to resolve criminal and civil charges alleging fraud on two public construction contracts in Connecticut that were largely funded by the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Disadvantaged Business Enterprise (DBE) program. The two contracts—one from 2007 that was valued at over $79 million, and the other from 2012 that was valued at nearly $7 million—Ducci indicated that it would subcontract with a particular DBE at 13% and 12% respectively. However, in violation of the terms of the program, Ducci controlled most of the decisions made by the DBE, preventing the DBE from performing a commercially useful function on either contract, and falsely submitted to the government that the DBE had performed the work. USAO CT
Top Ten State Healthcare and Financial Fraud Recoveries of 2020
State and local governments are on the front lines of enforcing anti-fraud laws and play a critical role in ensuring that businesses and individuals are held accountable. Whistleblowers with information about corporate misconduct involving healthcare, government procurement, financial regulation, and tax may find that state proceedings offer them the best option.
More than 30 states have False Claims Acts that...
Consistent with the trend in prior years, the bulk of the Justice Department’s fraud and false claims recoveries in 2019 stemmed from healthcare fraud matters, and with the Biden administration eyeing a bigger role for the federal government in our healthcare system, this trend is likely to accelerate. Most of the funds recovered arose from cases originated by whistleblowers under the qui tam provisions of the False...
State False Claims Acts: A Key Tool in the Fight against COVID Frauds
We all remember the early days of the pandemic when coordination at the Federal level was lacking and states were left to their own devices. States reacted in a variety of ways to fight this public health catastrophe, they created subnational coalitions, struck their own deals for secret mask shipments from China, and conducted their own foreign policy to buy tests from South Korea.
Things were chaotic and, and as...
COVID Frauds of the Week: PPP, Puppies, and Securities Fraud
As COVID-19 cases continue to rise across the country, the government has remained vigilant in rooting out fraudsters who seek to capitalize on the crisis to line their own pockets. Over the past week, federal prosecutors have advanced cases against multiple individuals who fraudulently obtained government funds that were supposed to help struggling small businesses. And in another colorful case, DOJ busted a...
T-Mobile will pay a $200 million penalty to resolve allegations that Sprint, prior to its merger with T-Mobile, falsely claimed monthly Lifeline subsidies for hundreds of thousands of low-income consumers who were not in fact using services. FCC rules require that telecommunications providers claiming Lifeline subsidies must de-enroll subscribers who don't used their service at least once a month, so that the government does not continue to pay for unused Lifeline services. FCC