Minnesota PPP and EIDL Loan Fraud Lawyers
DOJ Investigation: The Severe Consequences of PPP Loan Fraud
The COVID-19 pandemic has wreaked havoc on businesses everywhere. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was introduced as a way to help small businesses that have been negatively impacted by the pandemic. However, in trying times like this, there will always be people willing to exploit such opportunities for their gain. Reports show that many ineligible companies received large amounts of money in PPP loans, resulting in a significant increase of fraud cases linked to the program. These fraudulent activities have attracted the attention of the United States Department of Justice (DOJ), who is now actively investigating them.
The consequence of a DOJ investigation into PPP fraud can be devastating for business owners, executives, and anyone associated with such a company. The DOJ is vigorously pursuing individuals and firms suspected of obtaining PPP loans through fraudulent means; charges can range from making false statements to banks regarding applications to bank and wire fraud crimes. Anyone deemed guilty of these charges faces imprisonment and hefty fines.
Defending oneself against PPP loan fraud allegations is not easy; however, several potential avenues are available when one is accused in court. Some defenses include proving that you complied with PPP regulations or demonstrating that you did not intend any wrongdoing. Nonetheless, even excellent legal defense may not diminish exposure entirely.
There are various criminal charges associated with PPP loan fraud: making false statements to SBA banks, bank fraud under 18 U.S.C. § 1344, wire fraud under 18 U.S.C. § 1343, and tax evasion under 26 U.S.C. § 7201. During investigations linked to PPP loan frauds, federal agents could prosecute suspects found guilty of providing false information directly to them? Other criminal charges come under federal conspiracy laws or the False Claims Act (FCA).
The table below outlines further charges that could result from criminal or civil lawsuits linked to committing this crime:
|Making False Statements to the Small Business Administration (SBA)||18 U.S.C. § 1014|
|Bank Fraud||18 U.S.C. § 1344|
|Wire Fraud||18 U.S.C. § 1343|
|Aggravated Identity Theft|
18 U.S.C. § 1028A
26 U.S.C. § 7201
|Making False Statements to Federal Agents|
18 U.S.C. §1001
|The would-be conspirators could possibly be charged under collaboratively US Code Chapter 19 Conspiracy and Racketeering.|
Similarly, those caught in the act of attempting PPP loan fraud can be brought under Section1393, Title 18 of the United States Code.
Civil offenses are also potentially devastating for each person involved, including the loss of federal program benefits or financial penalties.
|Conspiracy||18 U.S.C. § 371, 18 U.S.C. § 1349|
18 U.S.C. § 1349
|False Claims Act Violations|
31 U.S.C. §§ 3729 – 3733
Furthermore, in a bid to prosecute more culprits of PPP loan fraud, the DOJ has filed criminal charges in several cases associated with it. They involve various violations designed to have either obtained PPP loans or used them inappropriately. For instance, some have used PPP funds on luxurious personal and business expenses like private jets while others falsely certified their eligibility for loans or committed identity theft to obtain a loan.
Other federal law enforcement agencies are working with the DOJ Inspector Generals office for Small Business Administration (IRS) which includes but is not limited to; associates of Federal Bureau of Investigation( FBI). These inter-organizational partnerships will help bring criminals to justice and give hope for small business owners affected by the pandemic whose lives depend on their businesses survival.
In conclusion, individuals and businesses who engage in PPP loan fraud face severe consequences. The DOJ is currently pursuing investigations and filing charges into these fraudulent activities linked to PPP loans program every day. Penalties could result in imprisonment and hefty fines. Legal Defense counsel must be sought immediately any business that may face detainment should contact an experienced law firm as soon as possible to discuss options in mitigating risks from exposure through litigation or other civil claims that may arise during these proceedings mentioned above.
Therefore before considering applying for a PPP loan, ensure that you’re using the funds appropriately and seek legal assistance when necessary. PPP laws can be complex, confusing, and change frequently during these trying times. It is vital to avoid any actions that could result in an investigation since the consequences may lead to an untimely death of your business.
NEW JERSEY CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS