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- The Justice Department announced a chief prosecutor to lead a task force targeting people and businesses fraudulently tapping into federal relief money related to the pandemic.
In a TikTok video that excerpts President Joe Biden’s State of the Union address, Biden can be heard off-screen announcing that "the Justice Department will soon name a chief prosecutor for pandemic fraud." Attorney General Merrick Garland is seen nodding in agreement from a seat in the House chamber.
The TikTok user responded with skepticism: "You’re telling me the government’s going to investigate itself for pandemic fraud?"
This post was shared on Facebook, where it was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat false news and misinformation on its News Feed. (Read more about our partnership with Facebook.)
On March 10, the Justice Department named Associate Deputy Attorney General Kevin Chambers as the director for COVID-19 fraud enforcement. So far, according to the Justice Department, that effort has resulted in more than 240 civil investigations for alleged misconduct related to pandemic relief loans.
Chambers plans to focus on "large-scale criminal enterprise and foreign actors who sought to profit at the expense of the American people."
This isn’t a task force that will investigate the federal government. Before Biden said that he was announcing the soon-to-be-named pandemic fraud prosecutor, he said: "We’re going to go after the criminals who stole billions in relief money meant for small businesses and millions of Americans.
We rate this post False.
Facebook post, March 20, 2022
The New York Times, Full Transcript of Biden’s State of the Union Address, March 1, 2022
Politico, DOJ names chief prosecutor for pandemic fraud task force, March 10, 2022
Justice Department, Justice Department Announces Director for COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement, March 10, 2022
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