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October 12, 2023

Seventeen Broward Sheriff's Office Employees Charged With COVID-19 Pandemic Relief Fraud

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News Release:


The U.S. Attorney's Office, together with federal and local law enforcement partners, announced today federal criminal charges as part of the Department of Justice's ongoing initiative to prosecute fraud in connection with COVID-19 pandemic relief programs that offered assistance under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, including the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, as well as other crimes relating to the pandemic.

The charges were brought in 17 separate cases filed in the United States District Court for the Southern District of Florida. Collectively, the charges allege that 17 defendants participated in independent schemes to defraud the U.S. Small Business Administration and participating lenders by fraudulently applying for loans and other relief through the PPP and EIDL program. These programs were designed to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of Americans who were suffering from the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. In total, the defendants allegedly received $495,171 in assistance unlawfully and used the proceeds to unjustly enrich themselves.

Read the full news release from the U.S. Department of Justice.

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Wayne Rosen, assistant special agent in charge of the Miami regional office for the Office of Inspector General for the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, made the following statement:

"To help people and businesses suffering from the economic fallout caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, the CARES Act was enacted to provide emergency financial assistance. The Federal Reserve also ensured that credit kept flowing through the financial system to households and businesses through emergency lending facilities, such as the Paycheck Protection Program Liquidity Facility. Unfortunately, bad actors have targeted this assistance to commit fraud for their personal gain at the expense of those truly in need.

"Today's announcement demonstrates our unwavering commitment to holding accountable those who exploit and defraud financial institutions and the government's pandemic response, no matter who they are. I want to commend and thank our agents, the Broward Sheriff's Office, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the U.S. Attorney's Office for their efforts and their dedication to the pursuit of justice."