Attorney General William Barr directed federal prosecutors on Monday to prioritize investigations of fraudsters and hackers exploiting the coronavirus pandemic.
In a memo sent to US attorneys nationwide, Barr cited reports of fake cures for the virus being sold online and email scams from people posing as public health officials as crimes that “cannot be tolerated.”
“The pandemic is dangerous enough without wrongdoers seeking to profit from public panic and this sort of conduct cannot be tolerated,” Barr wrote. “It is essential that the Department of Justice remain vigilant in detecting, investigating, and prosecuting wrongdoing related to the crisis.”
Barr also wrote that the “critical mission” of the Justice Department will continue as the virus spreads and shuts down other pillars of American society.