A new Covid fraud prosecutor intensifies his efforts to convict those who took billions of relief benefits

Kevin Chambers was appointed chief prosecutor for Covid-19 fraud. He said that he is setting up teams to analyze "an almost staggering amount of data" and could bring forth new charges.

A new Covid fraud prosecutor intensifies his efforts to convict those who took billions of relief benefits

Federal government's top prosecutor for serious Fraud against massive pandemic relief programs is setting up teams to analyse what he calls "an almost staggering amount of data". This could lead to new charges.

Kevin Chambers was acting as associate deputy attorney General and was appointed chief prosecutor for Covid-19 Fraud by the Justice Department on Thursday. In his State of the Union speech, President Joe Biden stated that the prosecutor would be leading the prosecution against major pandemic fraud perpetrators.

Chambers stated that his goal was to pursue those who illegally received money from pandemic relief benefits such as the Paycheck Protection Program or unemployment insurance funds. This will discourage similar behavior in the future, and help Chambers get as much money as possible back.

People bought Rolexes, Bentleys, and vacation homes. He said that although we may not be able to get all of the money back, there is still value in bringing these cases."

He said that although many of the programs were closed last year, prosecutors are still far from their final work.

Chambers stated that his role was to improve the work done by the Justice Department. Chambers said that federal prosecutors have brought over 1,000 criminal cases in connection to fraud losses exceeding $1 billion and that civil cases have been filed against 1800 people or entities related over $6 billion of loans.

Richard Ayvazyan from California was sentenced by a federal judge to 17 years imprisonment for his role in a fraud ring that stole $18million in Covid-19 relief loans for small businesses. The judge described the scheme as "horrific and calculated" and called it "horrific, calculated, callous."

FBI agents claimed that his wife had thrown a bag with more than $450,000 into their backyard when they raided the house. She was sentenced for six years. Prosecutors said that both women took off their electronic monitoring bracelets, and they fled. They were sentenced in abstention.

Last month, 11 Brooklyn gang members and their associates were accused of stealing 800 identities to obtain more than $4million in unemployment benefits. Some of the defendants were photographed holding cash in their hands while posing for court documents.
Chambers stated that he will create strike forces consisting of agents, analysts, and prosecutors to sort through the huge amount of data provided by state unemployment offices. Chambers stated that the data we have been collecting from the states was the key to a lot of evidence of fraud.

It is a huge task. Although the Secret Service estimates that $100 billion was illegally obtained through the Covid relief programs in the United States, private experts who have examined the matter say that it could be as high as $400 billion.

Chambers stated that the U.S. government spent $5 Trillion to combat the Covid-19 aid.

Chambers is a highly experienced federal prosecutor. Chambers has worked in private law firms as well as being a certified public accountant. This background, he stated, "might give me a little advantage in my current job."

His father was a Jamaican immigrant and he decided to stay in the U.S. to start a family. His mother was a registered nurse.

Chambers refuted the idea that theft from the government is a purely victimless crime when he explained the importance of prosecuting Covid-19 fraud cases. In a very real way, people were hurt. He said that fraud led to people not being able to get loans that could have helped pay for their children's tuition for an additional year.

"This wasn't an inexhaustible amount of money. Fraud is when someone gets it.


 

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