FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 22, 2020
For media inquiries only, contact:
Mike Lewis (334) 353-2199
Joy Patterson (334) 242-7491
Attorney General Steve Marshall Announces State-Federal Task Force to Investigate COVID-19 Related Crime in Alabama
(MONTGOMERY) – Alabama Attorney General Steve Marshall announced Wednesday the creation of a state-federal task force to investigate financial crimes related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
The task force, which is made up of more than a dozen state and federal agencies, will be a subcommittee of the Economic Crime Alliance of Alabama (ECAA), and will investigate a broad range of crimes arising from the coronavirus pandemic which will then be referred to prosecutors from the Attorney General’s Office, local district attorneys and the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for prosecution.
Among the crimes to be investigated are stimulus payment fraud, personal protective equipment fraud, COVID-19 testing and treatment fraud, fake charities related to coronavirus, price gouging, hoarding of personal protective equipment designated as scarce, fraud targeting the elderly, and other fraudulent and criminal behavior associated with the current pandemic.
“As our nation and state grapple with the societal disruption of a once-in-a-lifetime pandemic, criminal elements have preyed upon widespread fear and uncertainty to victimize the public,” said Attorney General Marshall. “Due to the broad nature of the financial crimes being perpetrated against the public, a dedicated team of state and federal partners has been assembled to channel resources and expertise to identify criminals and bring them to justice.”
The new task force of the Economic Crime Alliance of Alabama includes the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, the Alabama Law Enforcement Agency, the Alabama Department of Labor, the Alabama Securities Commission, the Alabama State Banking Department, the Alabama Department of Revenue, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, as well as the U.S. Secret Service, the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the U.S. Department of Agriculture Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Social Security Administration, and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
“The combined reach of these state and federal agencies will be leveraged to pinpoint and investigate criminal activity which will then be prosecuted by state and federal prosecutors of the Alabama Attorney General’s Office, local district attorneys, as well as the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the Northern, Middle and Southern Districts of Alabama,” added Attorney General Marshall.
“Those who seek to use the COVID-19 pandemic to steal from the vulnerable and the sick should have no refuge. Our law enforcement alliance is actively working to end their campaign of fraud and deception.”
Complaints of illegal activity regarding COVID-19 can be directed to the Alabama Attorney General’s Office via the following email:
[To access the email link, click the PDF icon at upper right of press release]