DOJ Announces Multilateral Russian Oligarch Task Force

Betty Q. Hixson

On March 16, 2022, Attorney General Merrick Garland and Secretary of the Treasury Janet Yellen met with representatives from Australia, Canada, Germany, France, Italy, Japan, the United Kingdom, and the European Commission to launch the Russian Elites, Proxies, and Oligarchs (REPO) multilateral task force. The White House first announced plans for the task force on February 26, 2022.

According to the announcements, the Department of Justice (DOJ), Department of Treasury (Treasury), and similar agencies from each of the member jurisdictions will work together to collect and share information to take concrete actions, including sanctions, asset freezing, civil and criminal asset seizure, and criminal prosecution. Attorney General Garland stated that DOJ is “already working with our international partners to freeze and seize properties belonging to sanctioned Russian oligarchs worldwide,” and “will continue to work together to take all appropriate actions against those whose criminal acts enable the Russian government to continue its unjust war against Ukraine.” DOJ’s newly established Task Force KleptoCapture, announced earlier in the month, will also help support the international effort, DOJ stated.

Also, on March 16, Treasury launched the Kleptocracy Asset Recovery Rewards Program, a program established by Congress that offers reward payments for information leading to seizure, restraint, or forfeiture of assets linked to foreign government corruption, including the Government of the Russian Federation.

See here for the DOJ press release and here for the Treasury press release.

Freight Carriers Agree To Pay $6.85 Million To Resolve False Claims Act Allegations

On March 14, 2022, DOJ announced that freight carriers YRC Freight Inc., Roadway Express Inc., and Yellow Transportation Inc. agreed to pay approximately $6.85 million to resolve allegations that they knowingly presented false claims to the Department of Defense (DOD) in violation of the False Claims Act. DOJ alleged that the defendants systemically overarched for freight carrier services and made false statements to hide their conduct in connection with DOD contracts to ship military freight across the country between September 2005 and October 2013. According to the allegations, the defendants weighed and then reweighed shipments, but used only the higher weights when billing DOD. They also allegedly made false statements assuring DOD that they would comply with the rules requiring them to correct discrepancies uncovered during any reweigh process.

The DOJ press release can be found here.  

Patient Recruiter Pleads Guilty to Medicare Kickback Charges

On March 11, 2022, DOJ announced that a defendant pled guilty in the Southern District of Florida to one count of conspiracy to commit health care fraud for allegedly engaging in a scheme to receive kickbacks and bribes in exchange for referring Medicare beneficiaries to five South Florida home health agencies for services that the patients did not need and sometimes never received. The defendant also allegedly coached the beneficiaries on what to say to obtain home health prescriptions from doctors. In exchange for the referrals, the defendant allegedly solicited and received kickbacks and bribes from the home health agencies through shell companies. According to DOJ, the scheme caused Medicare to reimburse approximately $870,000 for false claims, and netted approximately $630,000 for the defendant.

The DOJ press release can be found here.

Next Post

Five U.S. Immigration Law Trends to Watch in 2022 | Jackson Lewis P.C.

A series of significant developments in U.S. immigration law has already marked the beginning of 2022 and more can be expected. In January, the Biden Administration unveiled a series of policies aimed at attracting and retaining international talent in STEM (science, technology, engineering, and math) fields. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration […]