The novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has sparked a world-wide public health crisis that has given rise to unprecedented challenges to national healthcare systems struggling to limit the spread of the virus and treat those afflicted. Without a vaccine and without effective treatment, national and local governments have resorted to stay-at-home orders and social distancing policies as the only means to stop, or at least slow, the spread of the virus. The result of such policies has been massive economic upheaval and uncertainty. As entire industries and sectors of the economy shut down, business close and unemployment skyrockets to levels previously unknown, threatening global economic stability.
The United States government has responded to the economic challenges of the global pandemic with a series of financial relief appropriations. The third such congressional appropriation, designed to mitigate the economic effects of the of COVID-19, is The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), a $2.2 trillion economic stimulus package—the largest in history.
As local, state and federal governments respond to the crisis we are seeing massive spending on critical supplies to support our hospitals, on funding for expanded unemployment benefits, and on subsidies and emergency loan programs for business throughout the economy. Unfortunately, with the escalation of spending to unprecedented levels, there is an equally unprecedented opportunity for unscrupulous businesses and individuals to defraud the very programs that were designed to provide badly needed relief. We can stop fraud using the provisions of the False Claims Act ("FCA"), 31 U.S.C. § 3729 et seq., the same law that we have relied upon for the previous 150 years to combat fraud during previous national crises. The Department of Justice has already announced it will “prioritize the investigation and prosecution of Coronavirus-related fraud schemes.”
Stone Law Firm is proud to be recognized as a premier qui tam and False Claims Act law office. We aggressively pursue companies and individuals who defraud the government, at the taxpayers’ expense, and for their own profit. We protect the rights of our whistleblower clients to report fraud related to the federal funding earmarked to fight the Coronavirus.
“Men must turn square corners when they deal with the Government.” Oliver Wendell Holmes, Rock Island, Arkansas & Louisiana R.R. Co. v. United States, 254 U.S. 141, 143 (1920)