Scammers have depleted PPP funds by filing fraudulent PPP loan applications and obtaining funds meant to help small business owners. Whistleblowers can help stop this fraud and hold these fraudsters accountable.
With trillions of dollars up for grabs for legitimate small businesses, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has been a prime target for fraudsters. Currently, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has charged 474 defendants for fraud related to COVID-19 schemes.
The federal government enacted the CARES Act in an effort to provide economic relief to the many Americans suffering from the effects of the Coronavirus pandemic. Included in the CARES Act was the Paycheck Protection Program. The PPP loan proceeds were intended for small businesses to use toward expenses such as employee payroll, mortgages, and rent.
But while hard-working Americans were having to close their businesses and lay off their employees, scammers and fraudsters depleted the funds from the PPP, leaving legitimate small business owners empty-handed.
The DOJ recently announced that it filed an indictment against a Dallas-area man for fraud related to the PPP. The man allegedly filed 15 fraudulent applications with 8 different lenders for PPP loans seeking approximately $24.8 million. He filed the applications under different business names and claimed he had several employees and hundreds of thousands of dollars in payroll expenses.
However, the DOJ alleges that he did not have the employees or wage expenses he claimed. The indictment also alleges that he filed fake tax documents and bank statements for the claimed businesses. The man reportedly received $17.3 million in PPP loan proceeds, using the money to buy several homes and luxury cars, including a 2020 Bentley convertible. According to the DOJ, much of the funds were transferred internationally and the government has only recovered $6.5 million of the $17.3 million he obtained in the scheme.
You can help make sure taxpayer dollars go to business owners and employees who really need it by reporting PPP fraud. Do you know an individual or business that fraudulently applied for a PPP loan by purporting to own a small business? Or do you know someone who received PPP funds and spent the money in ways not authorized under the CARES Act?
Whistleblowers with information about PPP fraud can file a case on behalf of the government and may be entitled to a portion of the money recovered as a reward. If you have information about PPP fraud, you should contact an experienced whistleblower attorney to learn more about your protections and rights.
With more than 30 years of experience, the attorneys on Baron & Budd’s whistleblower representation team have represented dozens of clients in government fraud cases returning over $5.4 billion to federal and state agencies, with whistleblower recovery shares as high as 49%. They are ready to help if you have evidence of fraud involving the Paycheck Protection Program.
Please call (866) 401-5971 or complete our contact form if you would like more information. For more information, see What You Need to Know About Becoming a Whistleblower. Please understand that contacting us does not mean that you have established an attorney-client relationship with Baron & Budd, P.C.