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Press Release

COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force Releases 2024 Report

For Immediate Release
Office of Public Affairs

The Justice Department’s COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force (CFETF) today released its 2024 report detailing the efforts of the task force and its member agencies in response to widespread fraud involving many COVID-19 relief programs targeted by fraudsters and other criminals who sought to exploit the government’s relief efforts for their personal gain.

“Since I established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force three years ago, we have charged more than 3,500 defendants, seized or forfeited over $1.4 billion in stolen COVID-19 relief funds, and filed more than 400 civil lawsuits resulting in court judgements and settlements,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland. “Our work is not over. We will continue our efforts to investigate and prosecute pandemic relief fraud and to recover the assets that have been stolen from American taxpayers.”

To date, the efforts of the task force’s member agencies has led to criminal charges against more than 3,500 defendants for losses of over $2 billion, civil enforcement actions resulting in more than 400 civil settlements and judgments of over $100 million, and over $1.4 billion seized or forfeited.

“Working with law enforcement and the Inspector General community, the Department of Justice has deployed a data-driven prosecution strategy to combat COVID-19 fraud—to the tune of over 3,500 defendants charged and more than $1.4 billion seized or forfeited,” said Deputy Attorney General Lisa Monaco. “But the time is now to ensure law enforcement has what it needs to finish the job. The statute of limitations must be extended and the necessary funding and data analytic tools secured for our prosecutors to recover hundreds of millions of dollars more in fraud proceeds, bring remaining offenders to justice, and disrupt criminal networks that continue to victimize our citizens.”

“While I am incredibly proud of the work of the CFETF and the significant law enforcement accomplishments, much work remains in the fight against COVID-19 fraud,” said Director Michael C. Galdo of the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force. “The CFETF and its member agencies have ongoing investigations into hundreds of identity thieves, transnational fraud and money laundering networks, large-dollar individual fraudsters, and the businesses that facilitated these crimes. CFETF member agencies have improved their data analytics capabilities and are using these new skills to investigate fraud more efficiently and effectively.”

In addition to the efforts noted above, the CFETF has established five strike forces to focus on the most complex and harmful pandemic fraud—often committed by overseas, organized, or violent actors. Those strike forces, located in the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices across the country including the Districts of Maryland, New Jersey, Colorado, the Southern District of Florida, and a joint task force co-located in the Eastern and Central Districts of California, are responsible for indicting 250 defendants to date, including gang members, inveterate fraudsters, and overseas rings committing a myriad of cyber-enabled fraud against our citizens and government programs.

CFETF members also established the National Unemployment Insurance Fraud Task Force, a first-of-its-kind task force that developed a data sharing and lead development process within OCDETF’s International Organized Crime Intelligence Operation Center (IOC-2), using data from pandemic relief programs. The NUIFTF has used that process to disseminate over 100 leads and intelligence associated with over $3 billion in suspected pandemic fraud.

In May 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Justice Department in partnership with agencies across government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud. The task force bolsters efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies tasked with administering relief programs to prevent fraud by, among other methods, augmenting and incorporating existing coordination mechanisms, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their schemes, and sharing and harnessing information and insights gained from prior enforcement efforts.

The CFETF members include Justice Department components, including the Criminal Division, Civil Division, U.S. Attorneys, Executive Office for U.S. Attorneys, FBI, Organized Crime Drug Enforcement Task Forces, Office of the Inspector General, National Unemployment Insurance Fraud Task Force, and INTERPOL Washington; and key interagency partners, including Homeland Security Investigations, IRS Criminal Investigations, U.S. Secret Service, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and multiple representatives of the Office of Inspector General community, including Department of Labor, Department of Treasury, Tax Administration, Department of Homeland Security, Small Business Administration, Department of Health and Human Services, Department of Veterans Affairs, Social Security Administration, Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Federal Reserve Board, Special Inspector General for Pandemic Relief, and the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee.

CFETF 2024 Report

Fact Sheet 

Updated April 9, 2024

Health Care Fraud
Press Release Number: 24-414