DOJ Appoints COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force Director
By: Emily H. Lineweaver
On March 10, 2022, Deputy Attorney General Lisa O. Monaco announced that Associate Deputy Attorney General Kevin Chambers will serve as the Director of the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which was created to identify and prosecute fraud related to the roughly $6 trillion in federal aid that Congress made available over two-years to help support families, workers and businesses. In the public announcement, Monaco stated that “pandemic fraud is a top priority” for the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the appointment of Chambers “will enhance [the DOJ’s] efforts to recover stolen funds.”
According to Monaco, the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force has so far “charged over 1,000 subjects with criminal charges connected to alleged fraud losses of more than $1 billion,” and currently have underway “investigations of more than 1,800 individuals and entities for alleged fraud in connection with more than $6 billion in relief package loans.”
Chambers stated that, under his leadership, the DOJ will continue its work in investigating misuse of COVID-19 relief funds, but with an added focus on “large scale criminal organizations who are committing some of the largest and far-ranging fraud,” including identify theft committed by overseas actors.