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Press Release

U.S. Attorney Downing Appoints Experienced Prosecutor as Coronavirus Fraud Coordinator

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY - U.S. Attorney Timothy J. Downing today announced that he has appointed an experienced Assistant U.S. Attorney to coordinate investigations and prosecutions of crimes related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Hale, a Deputy Criminal Chief in the office, will serve as the Coronavirus Fraud Coordinator, overseeing federal prosecutions of virus scammers.

Attorney General William Barr has directed all U.S. Attorneys to prioritize the detection, investigation, and prosecution of criminal conduct related to the current pandemic.  "The pandemic is dangerous enough," the Attorney General said, "without wrongdoers seeking to profit from public panic and this sort of conduct cannot be tolerated."

"Criminals thinking about trying to scam others during this time of crisis should think again," said U.S. Attorney Downing.  "Any type of fraudulent activity related to the COVID-19 outbreak is appalling.  AUSA Hale, one of the most talented and experienced prosecutors in my office, will lead our efforts to stop these fraudsters, and he will work with our law enforcement partners to hold accountable those who commit related wrongdoing."

Individuals who believe they may have been the target of a coronavirus-related fraud scheme can file a complaint with the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center at  More information about coronavirus scams is also available from the Federal Trade Commission at  To download a photo of U.S. Attorney Downing, click here.


Updated March 10, 2021