IRS-CI Releases Latest Statistics on COVID-Related Fraud Investigations

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The agency conducted more than 660 investigations into suspected fraud totaling more than $1.8 billion.
(Photo: MGN)

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) – IRS Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) today released investigative statistics on the agency’s COVID-related fraud investigations over the past two years.

The agency investigated 660 tax and money laundering cases related to COVID fraud, with alleged fraud in those cases totaling $1.8 billion.

These cases involved a wide range of criminal activity, including fraudulently obtained loans, credits and payments intended for American workers, families and small businesses.

“The CARES Act (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) was enacted nearly two years ago as a safety net for Americans in the face of an unprecedented health crisis. Unfortunately, even in times of crisis, criminals stick their heads out to look for ways to take advantage of those at their most vulnerable. Through the investigative work of IRS-CI Special Agents and our law enforcement partners, we have ensured that criminals who attempt to defraud CARES Act programs face the consequences of their acts,” said IRS-CI chief Jim Lee.

“The COVID pandemic has brought out the best in some people, while bringing out the worst in others,” said official Donald “Trey” Eakins, IRS Criminal Investigations Special Agent, Charlotte Field Office . “The Paycheck Protection Program was designed to help hard-working business people keep their businesses afloat during the pandemic – not to line the pockets of unscrupulous fraudsters. We are pleased to work with our law enforcement partners to prosecute these crimes and the IRS-CI will continue to use our financial expertise to identify fraud, trace funds and bring criminals to justice.

These consequences include a 100% conviction rate for cases prosecuted with prison sentences averaging 42 months.

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