As federal, state, and local governments have ramped up public safety measures in response to the coronavirus outbreak, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and U.S. attorney’s offices across the country have been warning citizens to be vigilant for fraudulent disaster-related schemes. The DOJ has announced that addressing coronavirus-related fraud schemes is a major priority, and many federal and state prosecutors’ offices and law enforcement agencies have formed joint task forces to coordinate the investigation and prosecution of these crimes. With recent headlines focused on allegations of insider trading in the Senate, this article will analyze insider trading law with respect to the senators’ stock sales and discuss the challenges prosecutors might have in proving certain elements of an insider trading offense.
Public Disaster Fraud
Public disasters create massive government relief programs and financial aid, which history has shown invariably spawn opportunities for fraud. In recent years, U.S. attorney’s offices across the country have devoted significant resources to prosecuting schemes designed to take advantage of government assistance programs and sympathetic citizens during challenging times.
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