New York City PPP and EIDL Loan Fraud Lawyers
How to Avoid DOJ Investigation for PPP Loan Fraud
The COVID-19 crisis has severely impacted businesses globally, leading several companies to turn to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for monetary assistance. The PPP was designated to grant relief for companies struggling financially during the pandemic. However, several fraudsters took advantage of the federal program by applying for loans that they were not eligible to receive and using these loans’ funds illicitly. As a result, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) is conducting thorough investigations into PPP loan fraud cases.
It is crucial to understand that DOJ investigations related to PPP loan fraud are serious matters that can result in severe criminal charges against individuals and companies. The DOJ focuses on prosecuting entities responsible for fraudulent PPP loan applications or misuse of PPP funds. Additionally, the agency charges those who submit fraudulent certifications seeking forgiveness of their PPP loans.
Several charges have already been filed in connection with these unlawful activities. These cases must be taken seriously because the DOJ remains committed to identifying and prosecuting those who take advantage of federal allowances through forgivable loans.
To achieve its objective successfully, the DOJ collaborates with various federal law enforcement agencies such as the U.S. Small Business Administration Office of Inspector General (SBA-OIG), Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Office of Inspector General (FDIC-OIG), Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigations (IRS-CI).
Despite facing significant risk when accused of committing PPP loan fraud and undergoing a DOJ investigation, entities involved still have potential defenses that they can leverage when faced with allegations.
For instance, attorneys who represent parties investigated on allegations involving PPP utilize distinct defenses specific only to claims brought under federal offenses related entirely to the Paycheck Protection Program.
One way an entity could defend itself from an allegation would be through proof of Paycheck Protection Program Compliance: this means demonstrating usage within legal guidelines such as maintaining a separate account for loans gained from the Program.
On the other hand, another defense could be Lack of Intent to Defraud. Prosecutors are required to prove that PPP loan fraud was done knowingly or willfully; thus, accidentally acquiring and misusing PPP loans remains criminal but might lean towards a few charges or penalties instead of being treated as a federal offense.
In any case, facing DOJ investigation for illegal activities under the Paycheck Protection Program can cause grave implications on individuals and companies involved. Penalties include not only monetary fines in violation of civil laws but imprisonment due to fraudulent claims brought under existing federal statutes.
Therefore, it is to undertake necessary legal actions and remain compliant not to face DOJ investigations related to PPP loan fraud. If you end up facing such allegations, it is essential to hire an experienced attorney who can advise you on your legal options. Under no circumstances should you provide information voluntarily without consulting with your attorney first. This could lead to severe consequences that could negatively impact your business.
In conclusion, individuals and entities should take PPP program requirements and certifications seriously by striving to comply with them fully to avoid serious legal issues with government agencies involved in enforcing these policies.
Possible Charges for Federal PPP Loan Fraud Investigations
The CARES Act created the PPP program; hence, no penal provisions exist regarding fraud under such programshowever, fraud relating to the PPP triggers civil penalties or False Claims Act violations prosecuted under several existing federal statutes. Therefore below are some of the possible charges which violators might encounter under investigations relating to federal PPP loan fraud:
Prosecution Type | Law Enforcement
– Conspiracy | 18 U.S.C § 371
– False Statements | 18 U.S.C § 1001
– Wire Fraud | 18 U.S.C §1343
– Bank Fraud | 18 U.S.C §1344
– Money Laundering: Criminal Violations & Criminal Forfeiture | 18 U.S.C §§1956 & 1957
When individuals, companies or any charitable organization face federal investigations related to PPP loan fraud, these are the potential charges which they could face. Often people involved with this type of accusations must have an experienced criminal defense lawyer who can protect their rights and provide immediate assistance in preparing a defense against all types of allegations brought forward by investigating agencies.
In summary, more stringent screening criteria ought to be put into action when ensuring that PPP funds are being used strictly for the intended purposes. This can help to nip unlawful activities in the bud before it directly affects ones business or prospective companies planning on procuring loans via PPP.
NEW JERSEY CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEYS