Various federal agencies – particularly the FBI and the DOJ – have been vocal in announcing efforts to ferret out fraud and other criminal activity arising out of the COVID-19 pandemic. As described in prior blog posts on this site (here and here), the government focused on pandemic profiteering, such as price gouging and hoarding of PPE. Now, as the initial shock has dissipated somewhat, and after distributing hundreds of billions of stimulus…
With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping the U.S., nursing homes have been ground zero for infections and deaths. According to new data released by the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (“CMS”), there were 29,457 U.S. nursing home deaths from COVID-19 through the first week of June 2020. With COVID-19, the criminal enforcement landscape for nursing homes has drastically changed in just a few months. Here are our predictions for the coming months of enforcement and…
On June 15, 2020, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) withdrew its emergency use authorization (EUA) to use hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19. According to the FDA, there is “no reason to believe” the drug is effective against the coronavirus, and its use increased the risk of serious side effects, such as heart problems. The FDA’s action is a stunning about-face. There are now serious questions about how state and federal regulators and enforcement agencies will…
Federal and state authorities are creatively using the Defense Production Act (“DPA”), state anti-price gouging and consumer protection statutes, and antitrust laws to go after alleged price gougers and hoarders. This article, the final in our series on anti-hoarding and price gouging enforcement efforts, takes a look at various ways businesses can avoid liability. The Laws Are Unconstitutionally Vague Generally, laws may be declared unconstitutionally vague for two reasons. First, because they fail to provide…
As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens, public pressure has led to increased efforts to investigate and punish those engaging in hoarding and price gouging of essential items across the country. The Authorities and Civil Plaintiffs Have Relied on Creative Means to Target Perceived Price Gouging On March 24, 2020, United States Attorney General William P. Barr announced the creation of the COVID-19 Hoarding and Price Gouging Task Force. Since then, federal prosecutors in New York have…
We’ve been closely monitoring the legal landscape to see how law enforcement is pursuing companies and individuals for profiteering during the current pandemic. This article is the second in a series of articles exploring the heightened focus on COVID-19-related hoarding and price gouging. So far through the pandemic, federal and state authorities have primarily relied on three tools to go after hoarders and price gougers: the Defense Production Act (“DPA”), state emergency anti-price gouging and…
As the COVID-19 pandemic worsens, public pressure has led to increased efforts to investigate and punish those engaging in hoarding and price gouging of essential items across the country. The Authorities and Civil Plaintiffs Have Relied on Creative Means to Target Perceived Price Gouging On March 24, 2020, United States Attorney General William P. Barr announced the creation of the COVID-19 Hoarding and Price Gouging Task Force. Since then, federal prosecutors in New York have…
We’ve been closely monitoring the legal landscape to see how law enforcement is pursuing companies and individuals for profiteering during the current pandemic. This article is the second in a series of articles exploring the heightened focus on COVID-19-related hoarding and price gouging. So far through the pandemic, federal and state authorities have primarily relied on three tools to go after hoarders and price gougers: the Defense Production Act (“DPA”), state emergency anti-price gouging and…