Lithonia man, Christopher A. Hayes charged with defrauding the USDA’s COVID Relief Program
ATLANTA (STL.News) Christopher A. Hayes made an initial appearance on federal charges of making a false claim to the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s (USDA) Coronavirus Food Assistance Program (CFAP). Hayes was charged via an information filed on March 18, 2021.
“During the global pandemic, the government has provided a wide range of financial relief,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine. “Unfortunately, when criminals steal these funds, they take them out of the hands of those suffering hardship, such as farmers, who are the focus of the USDA relief efforts.”
“This investigation and prosecution should send a strong zero-tolerance message to those individuals who explicitly apply for aid to exploit taxpayer funded pandemic relief programs such as CFAP,” said Jason Williams, Special Agent in Charge, USDA-Office of Inspector General. “We appreciate the partnership with our federal partners in pursuing this type of fraud and holding these bad actors to account in this great time of need.”
“It’s truly disheartening, that during this pandemic individuals are devising schemes to take advantage of funds set aside for those financially impacted,” said James E.