12 Sep 23

Baltimore PPP – SBA – EIDL Loan Fraud Lawyers

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Last Updated on: 17th September 2023, 11:00 pm

Baltimore PPP – EIDL Loan Fraud Lawyers

The COVID-19 pandemic brought much hardship and uncertainty. To provide relief, the government created programs like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. These aimed to help small businesses and citizens get through tough times. Sadly, some folks took advantage of the situation. They told lies to get money they didn’t deserve. Now they face charges for fraud.

Luckily, there are skilled lawyers in Baltimore. They can help if you’re accused of PPP or EIDL fraud. This article will explain the charges folks face. It will also share tips on finding the right lawyer. There’s light at the end of the tunnel. Don’t lose hope.

PPP and EIDL Fraud Charges

Let’s look at the types of charges prosecutors bring in PPP and EIDL fraud cases:

  • Wire fraud – This means you used phones, internet, etc. to commit fraud.
  • Bank fraud – You lied to a bank to get loan money.
  • Aggravated identity theft – You used someone else’s identity without permission.
  • Money laundering – You hid where fraudulent funds came from.

The penalties can be harsh. Wire fraud and bank fraud carry sentences up to 30 years in prison. Aggravated identity theft adds a mandatory two years. Fines can also be massive – up to $1 million for individuals.

Restitution is also common in fraud cases. This means paying back any money gained illegally. For large PPP and EIDL loans, this can be hundreds of thousands of dollars.

How Do Folks Commit PPP and EIDL Fraud?

There are lots of ways fraudsters game the system. Here are some common schemes:

  • Lying on applications – Folks falsify business costs, payroll, number of employees, etc.
  • Using fake businesses – Fraudsters create pretend companies to apply for funds.
  • Identity theft – Applicants use stolen personal data to submit applications.
  • Double dipping – Some folks apply multiple times using the same business.

It’s often not complex or high-tech fraud. Just folks telling simple lies. But these add up to huge losses. The government takes PPP and EIDL fraud very seriously.

Recent Baltimore PPP and EIDL Fraud Cases

There have been many local cases recently. In December 2022, Darnell Hayes pled guilty to wire fraud. He got over $500,000 in PPP and EIDL loans. Hayes lied about his business’s payroll and employees. He was on probation for earlier fraud, but hid that fact.

In August 2021, Monica Weeks was indicted. She allegedly got $1.6 million in fraudulent PPP loans. Weeks claimed to have dozens of employees. But these folks never worked for her companies.

As of August 2022, Maryland courts convicted 14 defendants of federal PPP or EIDL fraud. They face years in prison and must repay over $3 million.

Finding the Right Baltimore PPP – EIDL Fraud Lawyer

If you’re facing charges, don’t go it alone. A skilled lawyer can help minimize penalties. Look for these traits:

  • Local experience – Choose someone familiar with Maryland courts and prosecutors.
  • Fraud case expertise – Find lawyers with a track record in financial crime cases.
  • Negotiation skills – Strong negotiators can secure better plea deals.
  • Trial experience – If you can’t plea, you want an attorney who can perform in court.

Also prioritize clear communication. You need updates on strategy and expectations. Don’t hesitate to ask candid questions before hiring a lawyer.

Be wary of lawyers making big promises. No one can guarantee you won’t serve time or pay restitution. Focus on folks with pragmatic approaches.

Building Your Defense Strategy

A strong defense takes time to craft. Your lawyer will likely investigate issues like:

  • Your intent – Did you mean to defraud, or was it an accident?
  • Mistakes vs lies – Innocent errors weaken the prosecution’s case.
  • Cooperation – Helping the investigation can lead to leniency.
  • Restitution – Your ability to repay funds will impact sentencing.

Evidence like emails and financial records will help prove your side. Your lawyer may also negotiate with prosecutors. Many cases end in a plea deal well before trial.

Don’t Wait to Get Help

If you get a target letter about PPP or EIDL fraud, take action. The longer you wait, the weaker your position gets. Don’t speak with investigators without your lawyer present. Be polite but firm when asserting your rights.

While the charges are serious, experienced counsel can help. They know how to negotiate and mitigate penalties. There are options between minimum and maximum sentences. Don’t lose hope. Keep your head straight.

Stay Strong and Focused

This is a stressful time, but avoid despair. Stay positive and keep fighting for the best outcome. Focus on the present moment rather than worrying about the future.

  • Lean on family and friends for emotional support during this difficult period.
  • Stay active with exercise or hobbies – it can improve your mood and reduce anxiety.
  • Get enough rest and eat healthy foods – this keeps your mind sharp.
  • Write in a journal to process your thoughts and emotions.

Cooperate Fully with Your Attorney

Your lawyer needs your help to build the strongest case possible. Make sure to:

  • Be honest and upfront – don’t hide anything that could hurt your case later.
  • Promptly provide any documents or information requested.
  • Follow your lawyer’s advice – avoid talking to others about your case.
  • Show up on time for meetings and court dates.

Full cooperation shows you are taking the charges seriously. It can help gain favor with the judge and prosecutors.

Explore All Options with Your Lawyer

Work closely with your attorney to weigh the pros and cons of different approaches, such as:

  • Negotiating a plea deal
  • Going to trial
  • Seeking a diversion program
  • Using pretrial interventions

Don’t decide on any option too quickly. Listen to your lawyer’s guidance while evaluating all potential outcomes.

With persistence and skilled legal help, you can get through this. Have hope for the future after you put this matter behind you.