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With the impending reporting period upon providers, this article highlights the current status of Reporting Period 1 and relays some recent enforcement actions.
It is no secret that fraud associated with the Provider Relief Fund (PRF) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) is a priority for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ). With the impending reporting period upon providers, this article highlights the current status of Reporting Period 1 and relays some recent enforcement actions.
First, providers who received PRF monies are required to complete and submit reports. Although the September 30, 2021 Reporting Period 1 deadline remains unchanged, a 60-day Grace Period is in place. According to the Health Resources & Services Administration (HRSA) website, here are the latest items that providers for which providers need to be aware:
Importantly, this Grace Period has no impact on the Period of Availability to use the PRF payments. Recipients are mandated to comply with the Terms and Conditions associated with accepting the money.
A recent example of a government enforcement action related to misappropriating funds from the PRF occurred in the Central District of California. Here, an individual was “charged with the theft of government property and wire fraud in connection with $229,454 that he obtained from COVID-19 relief programs”, including the PRF. The case is set for trial and is being prosecuted by Trial Attorney Alexis Gregorian of the Los Angeles Strike Force.
In sum, this should serve as a reminder to providers regarding compliance with reporting obligations and appropriate use of the funds.