PPP Loan Fraud Lawyers – SBA Loan Fraud Lawyers – CARES Act Fraud Lawyers
PPP – Paycheck Protection Program – loan fraud, is a huge issue right now. If you’re investigated and audited, there’s immense political pressure for prosecutors to convict you, or find wrongdoing.
PPP loan fraud is the act of getting money by false pretenses from the CARES act. As of April 2020, businesses can get up to $10 million to cover payroll, mortgages, rent, and utilities expenses. If the money borrowed goes towards these expenses, then the money is forgivable for those “qualified expenses.” Only businesses that were truly impacted by COVID 19, and have less than 50 full time employees are eligible for this funding.
If you cheated the SBA out of money is a felony. It carries fines, prison time, and immediate repayment of the loan. If you’re accused of PPP loan fraud, or if you’re being audited/investigated, we encourage you to contact us for a risk free consultation.
What’s PPP loan fraud?
PPP loan fraud is a determination made due to someone intentionally obtaining, or attempting to obtain, funds through the CARES act which they aren’t entitled to getting at all. Below are examples of PPP loan fraud.
- Claiming you have less than 500 employees when it’s not true
- Claiming Coronavirus hurt your business, in order to qualify for the loan
- Inflating payroll costs to get more money
- Claiming the loan money is going towards qualified expenses
If investigated, it’s likely the Office of the Special Inspector General for Pandemic Recovery will investigate you. It’s likely the DOJ will also get involved and prosecute charges.
What are penalties for PPP fraud?
PPP loan fraud is a crime. The sentences will depend on the offense you commit.
For example, if you’re convicted of a Felony, it’s likely to result in a fine, and prison time, in addition to restitution.
In order to disprove PPP fraud allegations, the defendant will have to prove there was no intent to defraud and that the SBA has made a mistake.
Lack of intent to defraud is important
Defendants aren’t criminally liable if they accidentally provided false info. Loan applications are very complicated, and at a time of stress – things can get filled out incorrectly. For example if you added an extra 0 to your payroll costs, this is an honest mistake. No crime is committed because you had no intent to defraud the government. If the government tries to go after you, they would have to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. If you say and explain your mistake, the charges might be dropped.
The SBA could make a mistake
Like all agencies, the SBA messes up. During this time of increased stress and activity, errors are likely. It’s critical to keep your records. You must written, email, text, communications, in addition to receipts, bills, and bank statements. They can serve as proof of your innocence if the government audits and investigates you for PPP fraud.
For example, if you apply for PPP loan forgiveness, the government may think you are lying. You will need proper evidence, like receipts, bills, etc, invoices, to prove you spent the PPP funds on necessary expenses that qualify.
Could there be immigration consequences?
Fraud over $10,000 is an aggravated felony. Non-citizens convicted of PPP loan fraud could be deported.
It’s critical if you are facing PPP loan fraud charges, you speak to our attorneys.
The SBA is a government agency, and defrauding the agency is the same as defrauding the government. It is likely to lead to jail time, and can have huge financial consequences. It’s likely if you’re accused of SBA fraud, you’ll need a criminal attorney who can help defend you and explain your possible defense strategies. Spodek Law Group, PC, can provide you with the aggressive and knowledgable legal help you need to avoid consequences associated with a fraud related conviction.
What’s SBA Fraud
SBA offers a number of programs and benefits to enforce companies. It helps small business owners succeed. If there is fraud suspected, the SBA will work with the DOJ and IG to seek redress for fraud, or misrepresentation made. The SBA prosecutes defendants who give misleading statements, make material omissions, and submit false information or engage in other dishonest behavior in conjunction with the Small Business administration program.
If you make fraudulent statements to participate in the HUBZone program to get benefits, this can result in jail time and financial fines. If you submit false information to the SBA, this can result in severe fines. If you provide false statements to qualify for loans guaranteed/provided by the SBA, this is another issue which can get you in trouble. If you make fraudulent statements in connection with Section 8A programs, this can also result in fraud charges against you.
If you divert SBA funds to larger corporations through fraudulent means, this is another ground for investigation. The inspector general of the SBA has described this as the most important challenge facing the SBA.
We Can Help
Spodek Law Group, PC, help with all forms of SBA fraud cases. We encourage you to contact us for a risk free consultation in order to learn more about your rights.
How to hire a PPP Fraud defense attorney
It’s important you hire a knowledgable attorney who has experience handling federal cases when you’re facing a PPP investigation, or indictment. The DOJ is casting a VERY WIDE NET when it comes to PPP Fraud investigations, or other alleged acts. No amount of abuse is being tolerated when it comes to the PPP program, and the government is doing a very thorough job of investigating businesses that took fraudulent funds through the federal program. You could face penalties, and criminal prosecution, by the government. Even if you believe you complied with the terms of the loan program, the DOJ’s PPP loan program has a very wide scope, and it could result in a federal criminal investigation. This can wreak havoc on your personal life, and professional life. You want individualized legal representation when facing federal fraud allegations in PPP cases. No two PPP fraud cases are alike, which is why you want to hire an attorney who can provide concierge and individualized attention. The fact is, the Spodek Law Group is the right law firm to hire in situations like this.