The lengthy fraud enforcement actions following the 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) will be the template for the federal government’s enforcement efforts following the CARES Act, including the PPP.
The CARES Act establishes the office of the special inspector general for pandemic recovery (SIGPaRc), an office with a dual mandate: to oversee the administration of the CARES Act and related relief efforts, and to investigate non-government actors to recover money the government has committed to the program. If the past is prologue, SIGPaRc will work with the criminal and civil divisions of U.S. Attorney’s Offices (and inspector generals from at least five other agencies), employing a collection of effective tools including the False Claims Act (FCA) and selected criminal statutes. And where the SIGPaRc believes there is criminal fraud, prosecutors can use traditional false statement and fraud-based statutes to pursue the mandate of punishing those who abuse the relief programs.
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