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Government Programs Fraud

This archive displays posts tagged as relevant to fraud in government programs. You may also be interested in the following pages:

Fraud in Government Programs
Whistleblower Home Page

Page 4 of 8

October 27, 2020

In what appears to be one of the largest Post-9/11 G.I. Bill fraud cases ever prosecuted in the country, the owner of a technical training school in San Diego has been sentenced to over three years in prison and ordered to pay almost $30 million in restitution for defrauding the VA out of almost $30 million.  To conceal the fact that Blue Star Learning had close to 100% veteran students—which violated the VA’s “85/15 Rule” that required 85% non-veteran students per course—and to conceal the fact that most of the school’s graduates did not obtain jobs in the fields they were trained in, owner Nimesh Shah allegedly created and submitted elaborate student and graduate files to the California State Approving Agency for Veterans Education (CSAAVE) and the VA.  Because he knew the fake students and employers could be contacted by the agencies, Shah went so far as to have an employee buy 30 mobile phones outfitted with fake company voicemails, as well as hire overseas individuals to man fake email addresses that he created.  As a result of the fraud scheme, Blue Star Learning was paid over $11 million in tuition and over $18 million in housing allowances and stipends.  USAO SDCA

COVID Frauds of the Week: Fraudulently Claiming PPP Loans

Posted  10/2/20
person following a trail of money
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

Posted  09/11/20
man-pocketing-cash-into-his-suit-pocket
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

Posted  08/21/20
money in a spiral form with a bankroll of cash on top
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

Posted  08/7/20
N95 Masks
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

Posted  07/31/20
handcuffs on a gavel with money scattered around
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.

Stimulus Fraud

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

Posted  07/24/20
Line of automobiles
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....

Centric Parts – Customs Fraud ($8 million)

In a customs fraud victory, the Constantine Cannon team represented whistleblower Steve Hughes in his successful False Claims Act action against his former employer, auto parts distributor CWD, LLC.  Hughes alleged that CWD, which does business as Centric Parts, misclassified brake pads imported from Asia as “unmounted” brake pads when they were, in fact, brake pads mounted to a metal backing plate, and therefor subject to a 2.5% tariff.  When Hughes learned of the misclassification, he immediately advised the CEO and CFO to disclose the issue to U.S. Customs and Border Protection.  Instead, the company concealed the misclassification and retaliated against Hughes.  As a result of Centric’s alleged omissions and false statements regarding its imported products, the company knowingly evaded millions of dollars of customs duties it owed to the United States.  The $8 million settlement resolved the Hughes lawsuit and one other qui tam action filed by a different whistleblower.  The whistleblowers shared a $1.48 million whistleblower award, representing 18.5% of the government’s recovery.  Whistleblower Insider; Press release

July 22, 2020

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

Posted  06/25/20
coronavirus-map
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...
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