PHILADELPHIA, Pa. (WHTM) — Three years after the enactment of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, The Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI) has investigated 975 tax and money laundering cases related to COVID fraud with alleged fraud in these cases totaling $3.2 billion.

The department announced on Friday, March 24 that the cases include a broad range of criminal activity including fraudulently obtained loans, credits, and payments that were meant for workers, families, as well as small businesses throughout the United States.

According to the IRS-CI, 458 people have been indicted for their alleged COVID-related crimes and 236 people have been sentenced to an average of 37 months in federal prisons.

Examples of some of these cases, as quoted in the release are:

  • Man gets over 2.5 years for stealing pandemic unemployment assistance while incarcerated.
    • Kenneth Huggins Jr. of Coatesville was incarcerated in the Chester County Prison since January 2020 and was not unemployed due to the pandemic and received more than $12,000 in unemployment benefits.
  • Woman Sentenced To Prison For Stealing Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Funds
    • Emily Baier of West Chester was sentenced to 14 months in prison and five years supervised release for falsely claiming and taking around $47,000 in pandemic unemployment compensation.
  • Man Sentenced for Stealing Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Funds
    • Jacob Fulton, of Coatesville was sentenced to 18 months in prison, five years of supervised release, and ordered to pay full restitution for falsely claiming and taking approximately $32,000 in Pandemic Unemployment Compensation

The CARES act was signed into law on March 27, 2020, to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans suffering from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

To learn more about COVID-19 scams and other financial schemes visit Official IRS information about COVID-19 and Economic Impact Payments can be found on the Coronavirus Tax Relief page, which is updated frequently.