Delaware PPP and EIDL Loan Fraud Lawyers
Protecting Your Business From DOJ Investigation for PPP Loan Fraud: What You Need to Know
The COVID-19 pandemic has pushed companies to seek external assistance, and the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provides a way for businesses to cope with financial difficulties. However, many fraudsters have taken advantage of this federal loan program, resulting in hundreds of millions of dollars misused by ineligible individuals and businesses. The US Department of Justice (DOJ) does not take PPP loan fraud lightly and is actively pursuing charges against companies and individuals engaging in fraudulent activities.
This article will discuss the seriousness of the matter and what steps you can take to protect your business during a DOJ investigation for PPP loan fraud.
The Severity of the Issue: The DOJ is Aggressively Pursuing Individuals and Companies for PPP Loan Fraud
Fraudulent activities related to PPP loans are serious allegations that come with severe consequences, including criminal prosecution. The DOJ is actively pursuing individuals and companies that engage in fraudulent activities in their applications or misuse funds borrowed from the program. Even if an individual improperly accessed a few thousand dollars from the program, if proven guilty, they could face imprisonment for up to 10 years and significant fines. Companies found guilty would face much heftier fines that could cripple their operations.
The DOJ Is Actively Pursuing Charges: Know About the Recent Cases
Multiple cases involved false certifications being submitted to obtain forgivable loans under the CARES Act; some cases even involve impersonation attempts that are locally driven or target specific industries. At least 80 cases have ended with criminal charges filed thus far, leading prosecutors across America increasing their efforts towards prioritizing these cases. Anyone who has been charged needs experienced lawyers who know how these specific offenses work to help defend themselves against possible convictions.
Other Federal Law Enforcement Agencies Are Involved Too
Recent reports indicate that there were at least 50 instances where other agencies involved included SBA-OIG (Ee.g., Small Business Administration), IRS-CI (E.g., Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations), and even FBI. The FBI has a dedicated task force that is committed to focusing on COVID-19 related crimes, amongst which PPP-related fraud is an urgent priority.
Defenses and Potential Consequences: What You Need to Know
The DOJ is looking for companies or individuals who submitted fraudulent loan applications and false certifications or used the PPP loans for ineligible business expenses. However, several potential defenses could assist them during investigations. These defenses can include notions of compliance with congressional laws in the process of obtaining PPP loans, meaning if a company got it legally by segregrarting accounts and adequately documenting the fund allocation then providing evidence in this manner can lead to quicker resolutions.
Another plausible defense strategy could be a lack of intent by defendants to defraud authorities because such cases may lack criminal culpability at the federal level. It’s important to note that Prosecutions from unintentional faults can still happen as civil violations which results in huge fines or other penalties.
PPP Loan Fraud Investigations: Charges Involved
It is important to note that the CARES Act, establishing the Paycheck Protection Program, does not outline penal provisions for PPP loan fraud; hence those who violate will face potential criminal charges indictable under various pre-existing federal statutes currently available under current legal practices. Some of these possible charges include Aggravated Identity Theft, Conspiracy Law Violations, Bank Frauds, False Statements between SBA AND FDIC-Insured Banks amongst others.
Preparing Well Ahead If You Are Facing A DOJ Investigation for PPP Loan Fraud
If you or your business is facing DOJ Investigation regarding PPP loan fraud case s then preparing well ahead could significantly enhance your chances of weathering through it successfully. Ensure documents cover all proper usages of the funds received under this program with adequate borrower background checks are up-to-date prior submission. Intensive adherence to respectful agencies rules and regulations should also be prioritized. Finally, the services of reputable and skilled attorneys experienced in handling legal matters relating to PPP loans are paramount to success during these DOJ investigations.
The PPP Loan offers an opportunity for businesses facing a financial crisis in the COVID-19 pandemic era, but precaution must be taken while acquiring such federal loan programs due to consequences that could cripple companies. Some individuals have intentionally or unintentionally engaged in fraudulent activities and misused funds borrowed through this program, leading the Department of Justice (DOJ)to initiate significant efforts towards investigating and prosecuting these fake loan applications with strict penalties if found guilty.
Protecting your business from potential negative impacts may require a comprehensive understanding of how DOJ PPP fraud cases work, dedication along traditional compliance lines, proper documentations of fund management via bank accounts should be central especially when deploying outside consultants during dire times as well as seeking out reliable layered defense capable lawyers who can efficiently help navigate through ever-evolving laws surrounding the PPP.
NEW JERSEY CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS