McGuireWoods’ Michael Podberesky Quoted on COVID-19 Relief Fraud Lawsuits

October 27, 2023

False Claims Act (FCA) lawsuits targeting those who allegedly stole money from COVID-19 relief programs are likely to ramp up soon and keep federal prosecutors busy for years, McGuireWoods’ Michael J. Podberesky told Law360 in an Oct. 19, 2023, story.

The unprecedented scale of COVID-related programs like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) likely forced the U.S. Department of Justice to put potential FCA cases on the back burner while it focused on more clear-cut and egregious criminal fraud cases, but hundreds of FCA cases could begin to emerge soon as longer-term complex investigations uncover more theft, Law360 reported.

Podberesky, a former federal prosecutor in the U.S. Department of Justice’s Civil Fraud Section and co-chair of McGuireWoods’ False Claims Act investigations, litigation and enforcement team, told Law360 the pace of FCA cases is unlikely to match the flurry of criminal cases initially brought by the DOJ over pandemic fraud, but there should be “an uptick and a steady flow of” FCA cases in coming years.

“That could last for another 10 years plus. The Inflation Reduction Act extended the statute of limitations for PPP and [Economic Injury Disaster Loan]-related COVID fraud, and ostensibly the False Claims Act can have up to a 10-year statute of limitations,” Podberesky said.