US attorney Bruce D. Brandler said his office would work with Inspector General Brian D. Miller on the cases after the two offices partnered.
HARRISBURG, PA. Acting U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania Bruce D. Brandler announced Thursday that his office has partnered with the Office of the Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery to investigate and prosecute those who who attempt to use the funds of the CARES Act for fraudulent purposes.
Brandler said his office will work with Special Inspector Brian D. Miller on the cases after the two offices signed a memorandum of understanding.
“This partnership is part of our ongoing efforts to investigate and prosecute the fraudsters who stole millions of dollars from government-sponsored aid programs during the pandemic,” Brandler said in a press release. “This is a high priority area for us. We look forward to working with SIGPR to hold anyone accountable for illegally profiting at the expense of the American taxpayer.”
“This partnership is an important step in protecting tax dollars,” said Miller. “We will work together to hold accountable and bring to justice those who steal or misuse money to aid the nation’s economic health and rebuilding.”
With the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act of 2020, SIGPR was created to examine spending on government funds aimed at providing economic aid to people and businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The MOU will allow the US Attorney General and SIGPR to intensify their collaborative efforts in investigating and tracking matters related to loans, loan guarantees and other investments made by the Treasury Secretary under the CARES Act, Brandler said.
The MoU contains four objectives:
- a coordinated response to fraud in the funding of the CARES Act, with a focus on organized crime, as well as criminal and civil fraud affecting federal funds, vulnerable victims and fraud recidivists
- Accelerating the legal process, filing cases and prosecuting fraud related to the CARES law
- Link and link isolated complaints related to the CARES Act to larger systems and related illegal activities
- Deterring future CARES Act funding fraud by raising awareness of successful law enforcement and prosecution activities against individuals and companies involved in CARES-related financial fraud.
As part of the MoU, the US Attorney’s Office will appoint two United States Assistant Attorneys – one from the Criminal Investigation Department and one from the Civilian Department – to serve as liaison officers for the SIGPR-US Attorney General’s partnership.
These AUSAs are direct contacts for case-related inquiries from SIGPR.
The MOU also calls on the U.S. Attorney’s Office to put in place a streamlined, expedited SIGPR investigation process in order to receive the necessary preliminary legal process, including grand jury subpoenas and court orders, subpoenas, and civil investigation requests.