United States Attorney Justin Herdman and Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery Brian D. Miller announced today that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Ohio has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Office of the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery (SIGPR).
“This partnership will help our office move quickly to identify and prosecute scammers and fraudsters attempting to use this pandemic to exploit others,” said U.S. Attorney Justin Herdman. “I’m grateful for the work of SIGPR in the Northern District of Ohio and look forward to continued success through this partnership.”
The purpose and mission of the MOU is to develop a cooperative effort to investigate and prosecute matters involving the making, purchase, management, and sale of loans, loan guarantees, and other investments made by the Secretary of the Treasury under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020, and the management by the Secretary of the Treasury of any program established under the CARES Act, in order to achieve just results while using all criminal and civil resources most efficiently.
“I look forward to working with United States Attorney Justin Herdman and his team in the Northern District of Ohio to identify fraud, waste and abuse of the money provided under the CARES Act,” said Brian D. Miller, Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery. “We will bring to justice those who would steal CARES Act money, and recover money for the taxpayers. Taxpayers should expect nothing less.”
The MOU outlines four objectives: 1) To provide a coordinated response to CARES Act funding fraud, with an emphasis on organized criminal activity, as well as criminal and civil fraud affecting federal money, vulnerable victims, and fraud recidivists; 2) To facilitate legal process, case intake, and swift prosecution of CARES Act-related fraud; 3) To link and associate isolated CARES Act-related complaints with larger schemes and related unlawful activity; and 4) To deter future CARES Act funding fraud through an enhanced awareness of successful criminal prosecution and civil enforcement against individuals and companies involved in CARES-related financial fraud.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Gene Crawford will serve as liaison to the NDOH-SIGPR partnership and will be assigned specifically to SIGPR investigations and prosecutions.
The MOU also calls for the Northern District to create a streamlined, accelerated process for SIGPR investigations to obtain needed preliminary legal processes, including grand jury subpoenas and court orders, subpoenas, and civil investigative demands.