Officials Targeting Covid-19 Fraud

Acting U-S Attorney for Western Louisiana Alexander Van Hook says people have tried to get about $570 million dollars total that they weren't entitled to during covid-19.

Posted: Apr 22, 2021 5:51 PM
Updated: Apr 22, 2021 8:27 PM

While Covid-19 benefits continue to roll in, some of those benefits are being taken advantage of.

Acting U-S Attorney for Western Louisiana Alexander Van Hook says people have tried to get about $570 million dollars total that they weren't entitled to during covid-19.

“There are so many people that really need it, and there are some that really don’t” Alexander Van Hook Said.

As the economy continues to recover, some people are fraudulently taking advantage of care act funding.

“The Department of Justice has prosecuted about 500 individuals for taking advantage of different programs that were accredited during the pandemic.” Alexander Van Hook Said.

When people use these benefits and aren't eligible, they can face major consequences.

“It could really vary from a civil penalty where you have to repay the money that you’ve taken depending on the level of fraud all the way up to prison. The statute that governs this says it's up to 30 years in prison.” Alexander Van Hook Said.

Hook says they are seeing 120 Paycheck Protection Program loan frauds across the country, not counting the ones that are under investigation.

“These programs are for people that need it, don't apply if you're not eligible. The eligibility requirements are clearly set out, you need to follow the directions and tell the truth.  If you don't we will come and get you.” Alexander Van Hook Said.

If you have information about people that are ineligible for the programs listed under the cares act. call 1-800-call-FBI (1-800-225-5324).

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