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What We Learned about Federal Telehealth Programs during the First Year of the Pandemic

Recognizing how critical telehealth has been to the federal COVID-19 response, the PRAC Health Care Subgroup—which includes six federal Offices of Inspectors General—worked together to provide insights on the use of telehealth and its associated program integrity risks. Read the full report here.

Improper Payments vs. Fraud

Recent headlines state that $191 billion in pandemic unemployment insurance was lost to fraud. Not exactly. In this Department of Labor Office of Inspector General's Congressional Testimony, around $76 billion of that is classified as fraud. The rest of those funds are referred to as improper payments.

PRAC Reports on the Use and Integrity of Federal Telehealth Programs During the Pandemic

The Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC) released Insights on Telehealth Use and Program Integrity Risks Across Selected Health Care Programs During the Pandemic, a report assessing telehealth utilization and fraud, waste, and abuse risks across six federal agencies during the first year of the pandemic.

Statement from PRAC Chair Michael Horowitz on Labor Watchdog Announcement

Michael E. Horowitz, Chair of the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC), commended announcement from Larry D. Turner, the Inspector General for the Department of Labor (DOL), that his office has charged more than 1,000 individuals with Unemployment Insurance (UI) fraud since the beginning of the pandemic.

Department of Labor Office of Inspector General deploys a pandemic rapid response team.

The Department of Labor’s (DOL) budget increased significantly in FY2020, due in large part to additional funding for programs created or augmented due to COVID-19. As the office responsible for overseeing these funds– $400 billion for 2020 – the DOL Office of Inspector General (DOL-OIG) created a Pandemic Rapid Response Team to combat fraud, waste, and abuse.

Self-certification procedures may increase fraud risk in pandemic response programs.

Two different pandemic response programs used self-certification by applicants as a primary requirement to determine eligibility and experienced increased fraud due to that requirement. The Small Business Administration (SBA) and Department of Labor (DOL) Offices of Inspectors General (OIG) found in recent reports that self-certification is a major fraud risk that cuts across program and agency boundaries.

Former College Football Player Pleads Guilty to a Fraud Scheme Involving More than $1 Million in COVID-19 Unemployment Benefits

A former college football player and Orange County man pleaded guilty today to orchestrating a scheme that fraudulently sought more than $1 million and obtained more than $280,000 in pandemic unemployment benefits.

U.S. Postal Service Employee Sentenced to Prison for Stealing Nearly $90,000 Worth of Postal Money Orders and Wire Fraud

BOSTON – A U.S. Postal Service (USPS) employee was sentenced today for embezzling nearly $90,000 and for fraudulently obtaining unemployment benefits.

Plymouth Man Sentenced for Submitting Multiple Fraudulent Claims for Pandemic Relief

BOSTON – A Plymouth, Mass. man was sentenced today for his involvement in a COVID-19 relief fund fraud scheme.

Allen Park Man Sentenced to Over 5 Years in Prison for Pandemic Relief Fraud Scheme