474 have been criminally charged with fraud linked to COVID-19 funds, Justice Department says

The U.S. Justice Department has publicly charged 474 defendants with criminal offenses in fraud schemes linked to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a March 26 update from the department. 

The department said it has targeted those involved in schemes from the Paycheck Protection Program, Economic Injury Disaster Loan program and Unemployment Insurance programs, which were made through the $2.2 trillion Coronavirus Aid Relief and Economic Security Act passed in March 2020. 

The 474 charged defendants tried to obtain more than $569 million fraudulently from the U.S. government and unsuspecting people, the Justice Department said. 

The department said it is also using civil cases to address fraud linked to CARES Act programs. 


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