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Taxpayers Against Fraud Education Fund Launches COVID-19 Anti-Fraud Task Force

Posted  June 25, 2020

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 specialize in unmasking fraud schemes, is uniquely positioned to lend its expertise to the government.

In March, Congress passed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act), injecting more than $2 trillion of taxpayer dollars into the economy.  The CARES Act introduced an array of initiatives, from the Paycheck Protection Program to Economic Injury Disaster Loans, designed to support workers and businesses reeling from the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.  Unfortunately, but not surprisingly, unscrupulous actors immediately began scheming to fraudulently obtain CARES Act funds.

In early May, the Federal government brought its first COVID fraud charges against two Rhode Island men who sought more than $500,000 in loans to prop up businesses that they did not own or that did not exist.  Since then, several others have also been charged with attempting to fraudulently obtain these Paycheck Protection Program loans, including a software engineer and Hollywood producer.  Law enforcement has also continued to crackdown on individuals and companies selling bogus coronavirus test kits, while regulators like the SEC, CFTC, and FTC are fighting financial fraud against investors and consumers.

TAFEF, whose members—including Constantine Cannon attorneys—specialize in advocating for whistleblowers exposing fraud and corruption, stands ready to supplement these governmental efforts.  With so much taxpayer money at stake, law enforcement must take all the help it can get.

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Tagged in: COVID-19, FCA Federal, Government Programs Fraud,