CARES Act Fraud Investigations Identify Twenty-Three Individuals Targeting Thirty-One Million Dollars
PROVIDENCE (STL.News) The United States Attorney’s Office, the Office of the Rhode Island Attorney General, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Rhode Island State Police today publicly updated information on criminal investigations and prosecutions of individuals who are alleged to have targeted and defrauded federally funded programs created to assist businesses and individuals impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, including the Paycheck Protection Program and Unemployment Insurance Program.
Since the enactment of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March 2020, a team of federal and state law enforcement personnel led by the Rhode Island State Police and the FBI, along with federal and state prosecutors, have worked together to identify, investigate, charge, and prosecute individuals who knowingly defrauded or attempted to defraud federally funded programs that provide emergency COVID-19 financial assistance to Rhode Islanders and others.
To date, federal charges have been brought against 23 individuals, including 15 this week, for fraudulently applying for aid from CARES Act funded programs. Investigators have identified more than $31 million dollars allegedly targeted by these fraudsters.
This week, 15 Defendants were charged by way of federal criminal complaints in U.S.