When pandemic shutdowns started wreaking havoc on the economy, the White House and Congress provided trillions of dollars of aid to individuals and small businesses. However, that kind of money invites criminals. Roy Dotson, assistant special agent in charge at the U.S. Secret Service, led the team that investigated major fraud that started after the CARES Act was enacted in March 2020.
- Dotson said the Secret Service has seized about $1.26 billion and recovered about $2.3 billion in working with financial institutions to directly return money to victims.
- The Secret Service and Cyber Fraud Task Forces, made up of state and local law enforcement personnel who work with the Secret Service, developed an investigative plan, formed a Covid-19 fraud team and started gathering intelligence to find criminal leads and follow the funds, said Dotson.
- There was “incredible” collaboration between federal law enforcement, the Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General (OIG), the Department of Labor OIG and the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, he said.