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Have You Been Accused Of PPP Loan Fraud?

Starting in 2020, the CARES Act authorized loans to small businesses affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. The funds were intended to help business owners make payroll so they could afford to pay their workers despite being severely limited or completely shut down by lockdown mandates. This is called the Payment Protection Program, which is why the loans are called PPP loans.

While the federal government provides these loans to struggling business owners, it also investigates cases of alleged fraud related to PPP loans. As with any federal criminal charges, a conviction for PPP loan fraud can have serious consequences for your freedom and reputation in South Florida’s business community. At Beckham Solis, Attorneys at Law, we protect people accused of PPP fraud.

PPP Loans And Fraud

The Small Business Administration, which administers the Payment Protection Program, is on the lookout for two main types of fraud:

  • Someone stealing the identity of a small business owner, receiving a loan in the business’ name and pocketing the money
  • Business owners mismanaging or deliberately misusing the funds

Our team of attorneys has more than 60 years of combined experience in state and federal criminal law. We can help and advise you at every stage of your case, from the moment you discover you are under investigation through arrest, interrogation and getting charged. We know where to look for weaknesses in the prosecution’s case and what to do about them.

Frequently-Asked Questions About PPP Loan Fraud Charges

Can you go to jail for PPP loan fraud?

Loan fraud related to the PPP program is a crime. If convicted, you would face up to five years in prison, along with a maximum fine of $250,000.

Who investigates PPP fraud?

The U.S. Department of Justice and FBI investigate possible defrauding of the PPP program. In fact, in 2022 the Justice Department created a special department to investigate and prosecute fraud crimes related to the CARES Act and the federal COVID-19 response in general.

How do you know if you’re under investigation for PPP fraud?

Your first indication that you are being investigated could be a request for information or a subpoena from the government. Once this happens, you should contact a defense attorney as possible. Even though you have not yet been formally charged, the fact that you are under investigation means your freedom is under potential threat. You need to navigate the process very carefully to preserve your rights and work toward a positive outcome.

How does a PPP loan get flagged?

The Small Business Administration (SBA) administered the PPP program and reviewed suspicious applications from business owners. Reasons the SBA might “flag” a loan application and possibly refer it for criminal investigation include:

  • The applicant does not appear to be connected to the business they claimed to represent.
  • The application contained false information or was missing important details.
  • The application fraudulently claimed that the business was eligible for a PPP loan.
  • The business seems to have made unauthorized expenditures with its PPP funds, which were supposed to go toward making payroll.
  • The business submitted multiple loan applications to several lenders.

Possible signs of one or more of these activities could lead to criminal charges against you and your partners.

Protect Yourself And Your Small Business

High-profile claims of PPP fraud can put your reputation on the line, even if you are never convicted or even charged. Working with one of our lawyers can help you settle the accusations against you as quickly and smoothly as possible. You and your partners will be able to focus on business while we work as a team to deliver the most favorable outcome available.

If you are being investigated for alleged PPP loan fraud, you should start preparing your legal strategy as soon as possible. Contact Beckham Solis, Attorneys at Law, at our Miami office to schedule your no-obligation consultation with one of our attorneys. Call 305-564-4329 today.