(READ) Covid-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force releases new report

The Justice Department’s Covid-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force (CFETF) has released its 2024 report detailing the efforts of the task force and its member agencies in response to widespread fraud involving many Covid-19 relief programs targeted by fraudsters and criminals who exploited the government’s programs for personal gain.

Since I established the Covid-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force three years ago, we have charged more than 3,500 defendants, seized or forfeited over $1.4 billion in stolen Covid-19 relief funds, and filed more than 400 civil lawsuits resulting in court judgements and settlements.

Our work is not over. We will continue our efforts to investigate and prosecute pandemic relief fraud and to recover the assets that have been stolen from American taxpayers.

Merrick Garland, Attorney General

To date, the efforts of the task force’s member agencies has led to criminal charges against more than 3,500 defendants for losses of over $2 billion, civil enforcement actions resulting in more than 400 civil settlements and judgments of over $100 million, and over $1.4 billion seized or forfeited.

“Working with law enforcement and the Inspector General community, the Department of Justice has deployed a data-driven prosecution strategy to combat Covid-19 fraud—to the tune of over 3,500 defendants charged and more than $1.4 billion seized or forfeited,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco.

“While I am incredibly proud of the work of the CFETF and the significant law enforcement accomplishments, much work remains in the fight against Covid-19 fraud. The CFETF and its member agencies have ongoing investigations into hundreds of identity thieves, transnational fraud and money laundering networks, large-dollar individual fraudsters, and the businesses that facilitated these crimes. CFETF member agencies have improved their data analytics capabilities and are using these new skills to investigate fraud more efficiently and effectively.”

Michael C. Galdo, Director, Covid-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force.

In addition to the efforts noted above, the CFETF has established five strike forces to focus on the most complex and harmful pandemic fraud—often committed by overseas, organized, or violent actors. Those strike forces, located in the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices across the country including the Districts of Maryland, New Jersey, Colorado, the Southern District of Florida, and a joint task force co-located in the Eastern and Central Districts of California, are responsible for indicting 250 defendants to date, including gang members, inveterate fraudsters, and overseas rings committing a myriad of cyber-enabled fraud against our citizens and government programs.

The Attorney General established the Covid-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force in May of 2021 to marshal the resources of the Justice Department in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud.

View the CFETF fact sheet here.

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