ALBANY, NEW YORK – Acting United States Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon announced today that her office has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Special Inspector General Brian D. Miller of the Office of the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery (SIGPR), regarding the investigation and prosecution of fraud relating to CARES Act funding.
Acting U.S. Attorney Antoinette T. Bacon stated: “This partnership is part of our effort to investigate and prosecute the fraudsters who have stolen from government-backed relief programs during the coronavirus pandemic. We look forward to working with SIGPR to prosecute bad actors, deter further fraud, and recover ill-gotten gains.”
Special Inspector General Brian D. Miller stated: “We will work with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of New York to hold accountable and bring to justice those who improperly take or use taxpayer dollars meant to support the Nation’s economic health and recovery.”
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 created SIGPR to investigate the spending of government funds meant to provide economic relief to people and businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
The MOU will allow the U.S. Attorney’s Office and SIGPR to enhance their cooperative efforts in investigating and prosecuting matters involving loans, loan guarantees and other investments made by the Secretary of the Treasury under the CARES Act.
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 speed up legal process, case intake, and 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 by increasing awareness of successful criminal prosecutions and civil enforcement actions against individuals and companies involved in CARES-related financial fraud.
As part of the MOU, the U.S. Attorney’s Office will designate two Assistant United States Attorneys – one from the Criminal Division and one from the Civil Division – to serve as liaisons for the partnership.