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: 17th October 2023, 10:57 pm
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was supposed to be a lifeline for small businesses struggling during the pandemic. But some business owners saw it as an opportunity to score easy money through fraud. So what actually happens if you get caught committing PPP fraud?
Well, for starters, it’s illegal. The Department of Justice is aggressively pursuing PPP fraud cases and doling out serious punishments. We’re talking massive fines, decades in prison, and forfeiture of assets. Not exactly a slap on the wrist!
To understand the consequences, it helps to know how the feds are catching the fraudsters. In many cases, they’re following the money trail and noticing red flags like:
When they dig into these suspicious cases, investigators often uncover brazen schemes to bilk the government out of hundreds of thousands or even millions of dollars. Needless to say, that doesn’t sit well with the feds.
Aside from prison, defrauding the PPP program can lead to massive financial penalties. We’re talking fines of $250,000 to $1 million in some cases. Not to mention having to repay the loan amounts themselves, which can be hundreds of thousands of dollars.
For instance: – A Georgia man got sentenced to over 3 years in prison and has to pay $1.6 million in restitution for a fake PPP loan.
– A Texas man pleaded guilty to defrauding over $17 million from PPP and got hit with an $800,000 money judgment.
And if you think bankruptcy will erase these debts, think again. Most criminal restitution and ill-gotten gains cannot be discharged through bankruptcy.
If you scored big through PPP fraud, the feds may seize your assets and force you to forfeit the illicit proceeds. We’re talking luxury cars, jewelry, homes, bank accounts – anything purchased with the dirty money.
For example, a Rhode Island man bought an alpaca farm, designer clothing, and gift cards with his $500,000 PPP loan. He got caught and had to forfeit it all.
The DOJ also seized a $328,000 Lamborghini Huracán from another PPP fraudster who blew the loan on the supercar. Pretty bold purchase with stolen taxpayer funds!
Many PPP scammers own companies that do business with the government. If convicted of program fraud, they can be banned from future federal contracts and become essentially blacklisted.
This is more than just losing eligibility for loans and grants. For contractors, it can mean the end of their entire business model if they rely on government work. Talk about a major consequence that fraudsters may not see coming.
Being splashed across the news for PPP fraud can also destroy reputations and careers. Just ask NFL player Josh Bellamy who got cut by the Jets after getting charged for misusing over $1.2 million in PPP loans.
Beyond the humiliation, it becomes much harder to get loans, mortgages, security clearances, licenses, and jobs. Who wants to hire or work with someone convicted of COVID relief fraud? It’s a reputation stain that’s almost impossible to undo.
Trying to cheat the PPP program might seem tempting if you’re struggling, but it’s just not worth the insane legal risks. We’re talking decades behind bars, seven-figure fines and penalties, seized assets, destroyed careers and reputations…you name it.
The feds are aggressively pursuing fraud cases and have sophisticated tools to catch even the smallest discrepancies. If you lied or misused funds, it’s only a matter of time before they figure it out.
So do yourself a favor – find legitimate ways to access COVID relief funds or other assistance. The temporary gain isn’t worth permanently ruining your life over. Let the PPP scammers’ harsh punishments be a warning!
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