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Press Release

U.S. Attorney’s Office Prosecutes COVID-19 Fraud and Price-Gouging of Personal Protective Equipment

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, District of New Jersey

NEWARK, N.J. – Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig today announced an update on the Office’s enforcement efforts to combat COVID-19 related fraud, including schemes targeting the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, and Unemployment Insurance (UI) programs, and schemes involving the price-gouging and hoarding of critical personal protective equipment

In the past year, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey has charged 18 defendants, including individuals and companies, with offenses based on fraud schemes, price-gouging, hoarding, and other crimes connected to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Exploitation of the global pandemic for illicit financial gain victimizes consumers, taxpayers, and federal programs alike,” Acting U.S. Attorney Honig said. “We are working with our law enforcement partners to investigate these schemes and bring to justice all those who would try to take advantage of the programs established by Congress to help America through the pandemic. We will vigorously pursue anyone trying to steal from those programs, engage in the hoarding or price-gouging of necessary personal protective equipment, or otherwise defraud the public.”

Most recently, three defendants were charged last month in connection with an EIDL scheme: George Leguen, 46, of Paramus, New Jersey, and Shyteek Stevenson, 30, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, were charged in separate complaints with one count each of wire fraud and money laundering. Marc Orival, 37, of College Park, Georgia, is charged in a third complaint with two counts each of wire fraud and money laundering.

Congress passed a $2.2 trillion economic relief bill known as the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act in March 2020. The Act is designed to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of Americans who are suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Anticipating the need to protect the integrity of these taxpayer funds and to otherwise protect Americans from fraud related to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Department of Justice immediately stood up multiple efforts dedicated to identifying, investigating, and prosecuting such fraud. The U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey continues to lead the Department of Justice’s Hoarding and Price-Gouging Task Force.

 Other cases charged in New Jersey include:


Date of Charge

Lead Defendant


Baruch Feldheim


Erik Santos


King Year Packaging and Printing


Crawford Technology Group


CSG Imports LLC and KG Imports LLC


Jae Choi


Jeffrey Bennett


Dang Chanchai


Jefferson Robert


Justin Ezeiruaku


Rocco Malanga


Azhar Rana


Maurice Mills


Gauravjit Singh


John Jhong


To learn more about the department’s COVID response, visit: For further information on the Criminal Division’s enforcement efforts on PPP fraud, including court documents from significant cases, visit the following website: For further information on the Civil Division’s enforcement efforts, visit the following website:

To report a COVID-19-related fraud scheme or suspicious activity, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) by calling the NCDF Hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at:


Updated April 18, 2023

Press Release Number: 21-118