Kevin Chambers, the federal government’s new head prosecutor for fraud within the vast COVID-19 relief program, “will lead the charge against major perpetrators of pandemic fraud,” reports say.
According to NBC News, Chambers was named chief prosecutor for COVID-19 fraud on Thursday (March 10) by the Justice Department. President Joe Biden noted in his State of the Union address that Chambers would helm the effort to prosecute people who illegally obtained pandemic relief benefits.
“People bought vacation homes, Bentleys and Rolexes,” Chambers said during the March 10 Task Force meeting. “We may not get all the money back, but that’s not the only value it brings.”
Chambers, an experienced federal prosecutor, emphasized that despite the programs ending last year, his goal remains: “if folks who have stolen from the program think for a second that our work is done or they’ve gotten away with it, they’ve got another thing coming.”
So far, Federal prosecutors have “brought more than 1,000 criminal cases related to fraud losses of over $1 billion,” NBC reports. Civil cases have been filed against 1,800 people in relation to over $6 billion in fraudulent loans.
Chambers says his goal is to increase the efforts the Justice Department has already put in place.
Additionally, Chambers said he has plans to set up strike forces of analysts, agents and prosecutors to sort through a massive amount of data supplied by state unemployment offices.