The Department of Justice (DOJ) continues to vigorously prosecute those who it claims, fraudulently obtained loans from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), according to a bank fraud lawyer. Congress created PPP through the CARES Act in order to provide Small Business Administration (SBA) loans to businesses and other organizations to help keep workers employed during the coronavirus pandemic (COVID). At least 5.2 million loans had been approved for a total of more than $525 billion in total aid.
Specifically, according to the US Treasury website, PPP, which was established by the Cares Act, and implemented by the SBA “provides small businesses with funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. The Paycheck Protection Program prioritizes millions of Americans employed by small businesses by authorizing up to $659 billion toward job retention and certain other expenses. Small businesses and eligible nonprofit organizations, Veterans organizations, and Tribal businesses described in the Small Business Act, as well as individuals who are self-employed or are independent contractors, are eligible if they also meet program size standards.”
In the last year or two, the DOJ has turned up the heat and has been aggressively charging individuals with fraudulently filling out the forms required to obtain the loans. The news continuously reports those charged with the fraud throughout the country. The DOJ is working with other offices of the federal government including the IRS, the FBI, the Postal Inspectors, the FDIC and the FHFA. Hundreds have been charged and arrested to date from around the country.
It is important to find a law firm that represents borrowers charged with PPP and other CARES Act programs fraud. Many people have been charged with providing fraudulent (false and/or misleading) information in the procurement of the loans.
If you or a loved one are charged or threatened with PPP fraud, contact an attorney immediately.