Bass, Berry & Sims attorney Michael Rivera commented on the potential for fraud following the massive distribution of funds called for in the CARES Act relief package. Congress and President Trump approved the record $2.2 trillion relief package to help offset the economic impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, extending aid to individuals, businesses of all sizes, and local governments, among others. However, because of the structure of the CARES Act and the swiftness of its implementation, many are worried about the potential for fraud. Oversight of the CARES Act funds will be provided by a soon to be appointed new Special Inspector General and others. Michael formerly served as the Chief Investigative Counsel for the Special Inspector General for the Trouble Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), the agency that investigated fraud with respect to TARP funds disbursed following the financial bailout in 2008.

“The signing document shows that the inspector general’s oversight impact may be neutered a bit by the president and the administration,” said Michael. “The inspector general’s oversight can also be hampered if the administration interferes with the execution of its other duties and powers, including audits and investigations.”

The full article, “2.2T Coronavirus Relief Package Poses Fraud Threat, Experts Warn,” was published by VOA News on March 31 and is available online.

To read the firm’s ongoing analysis of the CARES Act, please visit our COVID-19 response webpage and the CARES Act webpage.