• Revenue Cycle Management
  • COVID-19
  • Diabetes Awareness Month
  • Staffing
  • Medical Economics® 100th Anniversary
  • Coding and documentation
  • Business of Endocrinology
  • Telehealth
  • Physicians Financial News
  • Cybersecurity
  • Cardiovascular Clinical Consult
  • Locum Tenens, brought to you by LocumLife®
  • Weight Management
  • Business of Women's Health
  • EHRs
  • Remote Patient Monitoring
  • Sponsored Webinars
  • Medical Technology
  • Billing and collections
  • Acute Pain Management
  • Exclusive Content
  • Value-based Care
  • Business of Pediatrics
  • Concierge Medicine 2.0 by Castle Connolly Private Health Partners
  • Concierge Medicine
  • Business of Cardiology
  • Implementing the Topcon Ocular Telehealth Platform
  • Malpractice
  • Influenza
  • Sexual Health
  • Chronic Conditions
  • Technology
  • Legal and Policy
  • Money
  • Opinion
  • Vaccines
  • Practice Management
  • Patient Relations
  • Careers

Feds continue hunting for medical fraud amid schemes launched in COVID-19 pandemic

News
Article

List of criminal and civil actions is growing and Justice Department says there’s more to come.

vials mask money: © BillionPhotos.com - stock.adobe.com

© BillionPhotos.com - stock.adobe.com

Federal investigators continue to hunt for fraudsters who wrongly took relieve federal relief money approved during the COVID-19 pandemic.

This week the U.S. Department of Justice announced 718 enforcement actions, including criminal charges against 371 defendants, for alleged fraud offenses related to at least $836 million in pandemic financial programs.

“The Justice Department has now seized over $1.4 billion in COVID-19 relief funds that criminals had stolen and charged over 3,000 defendants with crimes in federal districts across the country,” Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said in a news release. “This latest action, involving over 300 defendants and over $830 million in alleged COVID-19 fraud, should send a clear message: The COVID-19 public health emergency may have ended, but the Justice Department’s work to identify and prosecute those who stole pandemic relief funds is far from over.”

DOJ Acting Director of COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Michael C. Galdo outlined a coordinated law enforcement action from May to July this year. Investigators launched criminal, civil, and forfeiture actions with assistance from more than 50 U.S. attorneys’ offices and more than a dozen law enforcement agencies and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Inspector General (HHS-OIG).

So far 119 defendants pleaded guilty or were convicted at trial, with more than $57 million in court-ordered restitution imposed. There were 117 civil matters filed during the sweep, 117 civil matters occurred during the sweep, with more than $10.4 million in judgments. Prosecutors worked with law enforcement to secure forfeiture of more than $231.4 million, according to DOJ.

The Justice Department said many cases stem from the Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster Loans, the two largest pandemic relief programs administered by the U.S. Small Business Administration. There has been bogus health care billing and phony claims for the Emergency Rental Assistance and the Internal Revenue Service Employee Retention Credit programs. 

In continuing investigations, Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco announced the launch of two COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Strike Forces in Colorado and New Jersey. They follow the work of three strike forces that started in September last year in California, Florida, and Maryland.

Related Videos
Georges C. Benjamin, MD
Gary Price, MD, MBA
Michael J. Barry, MD
Kalvin Yu, MD
Claire Ernst, JD, gives expert advice
Claire Ernst, JD, gives expert advice
Claire Ernst, JD, gives expert advice
William Cooke, MD, FAAFP, FASAM, AAHIVS, gives expert advice
J. Corey Feist, JD, MBA, gives expert advice
© 2023 MJH Life Sciences

All rights reserved.