Covered by NYDaily News. Las Vegas man accused of threatening a prominent attorney and making vile remarks.
Covered by New York Times, and other outlets. Fake heiress accused of conning the city’s wealthy, and has an HBO special being made about her.
Accused of stalking Alec Baldwin. The case garnered nationwide attention, with USAToday, NYPost, and other media outlets following it closely.
Juror who prompted calls for new Ghislaine Maxwell trial turns to lawyer who defended Anna Sorokin.
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Last Updated on: 28th July 2023, 07:21 pm
As the nation grapples with the ongoing economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic, PPP loan fraud investigations have surged to the forefront of the federal government’s efforts to recover funds that may have been obtained through fraudulent means. Federal prosecutors and criminal investigators from a variety of agencies are scouring the country in search of possible violations of the CARES Act and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), leaving many business owners and individuals feeling uneasy about their potential exposure to PPP fraud charges.
But what exactly is PPP loan fraud? In a nutshell, it’s when an individual or business submits false information in an application or certification for a loan under the PPP. The PPP was established to assist companies in staying afloat during the pandemic by providing forgivable loans to cover payroll and operating expenses. Businesses can apply for PPP loans through commercial banks, but they must meet certain criteria to be eligible and are subject to strict requirements and limits on how the funds can be spent.
So, what happens during a PPP loan fraud investigation? Essentially, the goal is to determine whether charges should be brought against someone for violating the strict requirements of the PPP loan program. Federal prosecutors have been targeting businesses and individuals who may have violated the PPP loan program in a number of ways, including:
-Submitting false information in loan applications -Misusing PPP funds -Failing to meet eligibility requirements
If you’re concerned about the possibility of PPP fraud charges, it’s crucial to take steps to protect yourself and your business. This includes gathering all of your financial records and making digital copies, not destroying any business records, and encouraging your employees to report any suspicions of PPP fraud to management.
At our firm, we have a team of experienced attorneys, paralegals, and independent consultants who have been successful in helping business owners navigate PPP and EIDL loan fraud investigations. Once we’re hired to represent a client, we take immediate steps to protect their interests, such as contacting investigators and government agents to ensure there’s no further contact with the client, preserving relevant business documents, and consulting with forensic accountants to review the company’s financials.
If you or your business is facing a PPP loan fraud investigation, don’t hesitate to reach out to us. We’ll work tirelessly to defend your rights and protect your interests.
As the world continues to grapple with the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has emerged as a vital lifeline for small businesses struggling to stay afloat. However, as with any government program, there are always those who will seek to exploit it for personal gain. The potential charges in federal PPP loan fraud investigations are serious and far-reaching, with severe penalties for those found guilty.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, which created the PPP, may not contain penal provisions specifically for PPP loan fraud, but fraud under the program can trigger civil and criminal charges under numerous pre-existing federal statutes. These include, but are not limited to, conspiracy (18 U.S.C. § 371 and 18 U.S.C. § 1349), attempt (18 U.S.C. § 1349), and False Claims Act violations (31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 – 3733).
Conspiracy, for example, allows for the prosecution of multiple individuals and/or businesses that are collectively involved in efforts to fraudulently obtain federal funds under the PPP. Importantly, these efforts do not actually have to result in the issuance of a PPP loan in order to support a criminal charge for conspiracy. The federal attempt statute also imposes criminal penalties for “unsuccessful” efforts to commit PPP loan fraud.
The False Claims Act, meanwhile, imposes civil and criminal penalties for fraud targeting federal government programs. The Department of Justice (DOJ) can pursue civil charges in cases involving unintentional PPP loan application or forgiveness certification fraud, while intentional PPP loan fraud can lead to criminal prosecution.
The potential penalties in federal PPP loan fraud investigations are severe and include fines of up to $1 million and federal imprisonment for up to 30 years for making false statements to the Small Business Administration (SBA) or an FDIC-insured bank, bank fraud, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft. Tax evasion carries a fine of up to $100,000 for individuals and $500,000 for corporations, and up to five years of federal imprisonment. Making false statements to federal agents carries statutory fines and up to five years of federal imprisonment.
In short, the message is clear: PPP loan fraud is a serious crime with severe consequences. It’s imperative that we all do our part to ensure the integrity of this vital program, and that those who seek to exploit it for personal gain are held accountable for their actions.
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