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U.S. Attorney Terwilliger Announces MOU with Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery

July 17, 2020

United States Attorney G. Zachary Terwilliger and Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery Brian D. Miller today announced that the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia has entered into Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with the Office of the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery (SIGPR).

“Fraudsters frequently prey upon vulnerable individuals during difficult times,” said Terwilliger. “We are working closely with various federal, state, and local law enforcement partners to guard against fraudulent pandemic profiteers, protect the public fisc, and ensure the rule of law and public safety is not eroded during this critical time. It is inevitable that fraudsters will attempt to take advantage of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act, and this partnership with SIGPR underscores EDVA’s commitment to criminally prosecuting and holding civilly liable those who attempt to take advantage during this historic pandemic. Special Inspector General Miller is an EDVA alum and SIGPR will be physically housed within 75 yards of our office and the District Court—it makes all the sense in the world to formally partner on this critical work for the American people.”

The purpose and mission of the MOU is to develop a cooperative effort to investigate and prosecute matters involving the making, purchase, management, and sale of loans, loan guarantees, and other investments made by the Secretary of the Treasury under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020, and the management by the Secretary of the Treasury of any program established under the CARES Act, in order to achieve just results while using all criminal and civil resources most efficiently.

“I look forward to working with United States Attorney Zach Terwilliger and his team in the Eastern District of Virginia to identify fraud, waste and abuse of the money provided under the CARES Act,” said Brian D. Miller, Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery. “We will bring to justice those who would steal CARES Act money, and recover money for the taxpayers. Taxpayers should expect nothing less.”

The MOU outlines four objectives: 1) To 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) To facilitate legal process, case intake, and swift prosecution of CARES Act-related fraud; 3) To link and associate isolated CARES Act-related complaints with larger schemes and related unlawful activity; and 4) To deter future CARES Act funding fraud through an enhanced awareness of successful criminal prosecution and civil enforcement against individuals and companies involved in CARES-related financial fraud.

Two Assistant U.S. Attorneys (AUSA) – one from the Criminal Division and one from the Civil Division – will serve as liaisons to the EDVA-SIGPR partnership. These AUSAs will be direct points of contact for case-related inquiries from SIGPR. Additionally, a criminal paralegal will be assigned specifically to SIGPR investigations and prosecutions. EDVA will also provide forensic audit support for civil enforcement matters.

The MOU also calls for EDVA to create a streamlined, accelerated process for SIGPR investigations to obtain needed preliminary legal process, including grand jury subpoenas and court orders, subpoenas, and civil investigative demands.

A copy of this press release is located on the website of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia.