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OKLAHOMA CITY – United States Attorney Robert J. Troester and Special Inspector General Brian D. Miller of the Office of the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery (SIGPR) jointly announced today that their offices have entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to further strengthen and enhance the already existing cooperative efforts to investigate and prosecute fraud involving loans, loan guarantees and other relief made by the Secretary of the Treasury under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020, which included over $2 trillion in emergency financial assistance designed to provide immediate help for American businesses and individuals.
"It is regrettable that the government relief programs provided by Congress to aid those in need, as a result of the pandemic, have been exploited by fraud," said U.S. Attorney Troester. "We have already been working closely with SIGPR to address these fraudulent schemes. This partnership with SIGPR strengthens and enhances that on-going effort."
"Our partnership with the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Oklahoma has already produced results," said Special Inspector General Miller. "We continue to work together to hold accountable those who would misuse pandemic funds meant to support vulnerable businesses and individuals in their time of need."
The MOU outlines four key objectives: (1) Provide a coordinated response to CARES Act-funding fraud, with an emphasis on organized criminal activity, as well as criminal and civil fraud affecting federal money, vulnerable victims, and fraud recidivists; (2) facilitate legal process, case intake, and swift prosecution of CARES Act-related fraud; (3) link and associate isolated CARES Act-related complaints with larger schemes and related unlawful activity; and (4) deter future CARES Act funding fraud through an enhanced awareness of criminal and civil penalties and successful prosecution of individuals and companies involved in CARES Act related financial fraud. The partnership will help ensure regular communication and coordination with regulators and law enforcement so that just results can be achieved through the strategic use of criminal and civil remedies to address fraudulent schemes.
Oklahomans who believe they are victims or witnesses of fraudulent activity related to the pandemic should report it to the following: