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Indianapolis PPP – SBA – EIDL Loan Fraud Lawyers

March 21, 2024 Uncategorized

Indianapolis PPP – SBA – EIDL Loan Fraud Lawyers

The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented challenges, and the US government responded with massive stimulus packages aimed at providing financial relief. A key component was the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) programs administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA). While these programs threw a critical lifeline to many businesses and employees, the speed and scale inevitably opened the door to significant fraud.In Indianapolis and across Indiana, PPP and EIDL fraud is a major concern. The US Department of Justice has prosecuted numerous cases of individuals illegally obtaining these loans. For those accused of PPP or EIDL fraud, having an experienced legal team can be crucial. Indianapolis white collar defense attorneys understand these complex cases and build sophisticated defenses to fight the charges.

Overview of PPP and EIDL Loan Programs

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act established the PPP in March 2020. This provided potentially forgivable loans to small businesses to cover payroll, rent, utilities and other expenses. Initially funded with $349 billion, Congress added over $300 billion more as the program proved wildly popular. Loans are administered through private lenders but guaranteed 100% by the SBA.EIDL loans have been around for decades to help businesses hit by disasters, but the CARES Act expanded the program for COVID-19. These working capital loans up to $2 million have a 3.75% interest rate and 30-year term. The SBA also offered EIDL Advance grants of up to $10,000 that did not need to be repaid.With the goal of getting money out quickly, loan approval was streamlined and eligibility requirements loosened. Applicants simply had to certify they met the criteria, such as being impacted by COVID and having under 500 employees. While this allowed over $800 billion to rapidly flow to workers and businesses in need, it also allowed fraudsters easy access.

Scope of PPP and EIDL Fraud

In June 2022, the SBA Office of the Inspector General estimated over $200 billion of the COVID relief loans were fraudulent, among the highest rates for any government program. Their report found $79 billion in potentially fraudulent EIDL loans, $4.6 billion in EIDL Advances, and $4.5 billion in PPP loans. This represents about 16% of total COVID relief lending.The Justice Department has prosecuted over 150 defendants in more than 95 criminal cases involving PPP or EIDL fraud as of January 2023. These cases involved over $75 million in loans, and many investigations are ongoing. The pace of prosecutions increased in late 2022 as statutes of limitations approached.There are several typical schemes used by fraudsters:

  • Fake businesses – Applications filed using sham companies, or on behalf of real companies without their consent. Proceeds pocketed with no intent to pay employees or operating expenses.
  • Identity theft – Using stolen personal information to apply for loans as an imposter.
  • Double dipping – Obtaining multiple loans by applying to several lenders.
  • Exaggerated claims – Lying on applications about number of employees, payroll, or revenue to maximize loan amounts.
  • Misuse of funds – Spending loan proceeds on personal purchases instead of approved business expenses.

Some indications of potential PPP or EIDL fraud include:

  • Businesses formed right before pandemic
  • Companies not found in state registration records
  • Same phone, address, bank account on multiple applications
  • Loan amounts exceeding business’s typical payroll or revenue
  • Social media showing unapproved purchases like vacations, cars, homes

PPP and EIDL Fraud Charges

Prosecutors have an array of federal charges they can bring around pandemic loan fraud:

  • Wire fraud – Scheme to defraud using interstate wires, up to 20 years imprisonment
  • Bank fraud – Scheme to defraud a bank, up to 30 years imprisonment
  • False statements – Lying on loan applications, up to 5 years imprisonment
  • Aggravated identity theft – Using someone else’s identity in a crime, mandatory 2 years imprisonment
  • Money laundering – Disguising illegal proceeds, up to 20 years imprisonment

Defendants often face multiple charges that can add up to decades behind bars. Restitution of the fraud proceeds is typically ordered as well.

Defending PPP and EIDL Fraud Cases

Facing federal criminal charges for allegedly bilking pandemic relief programs is extremely serious. The government invests substantial resources investigating and prosecuting PPP and EIDL fraud across the country.An experienced Indianapolis white collar criminal defense lawyer can thoroughly analyze the government’s evidence and identify weaknesses in their case. Some possible defenses include:

Christine Twomey
Christine Twomey
2024-03-21
Just had my Divorce case settled 2 months ago after having a horrible experience with another firm. I couldn’t be happier with Claire Banks and Elizabeth Garvey with their outstanding professionalism in doing so with Spodek Law Group. Any time I needed questions answered they were always prompt in doing so with all my uncertainties after 30 yrs of marriage.I feel from the bottom of my heart you will NOT be disappointed with either one. Thanks a million.
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2024-03-18
Alex Zhik contacted me almost immediately when I reached out to Spodek for a consultation and was able to effectively communicate the path forward/consequences of my legal issue. I immediately agreed to hire Alex for his services and did not regret my choice. He was able to cover my case in court (with 1 day notice) and not only was he able to push my case down, he carefully negotiated a dismissal of the charge altogether. I highly recommend Spodek, and more specifically, Alex Zhik for all of your legal issues. Thanks guys!
Guerline Menard
Guerline Menard
2024-03-18
Thanks again Spodek law firm, particularly Esq Claire Banks who stood right there with us up to the finish line. Attached photos taken right outside of the court building and the smile on our faces represented victory, a breath of fresh air and satisfaction. We are very happy that this is over and we can move on with our lives. Thanks Spodek law 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
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Keisha Parris
2024-03-15
Believe every single review here about Alex Z!! From our initial consultation, it was evident that Alex possessed a profound understanding of criminal law and a fierce dedication to his clients rights. Throughout the entirety of my case, Alex exhibited unparalleled professionalism and unwavering commitment. What sets Alex apart is not only his legal expertise but also his genuine compassion for his clients. He took the time to thoroughly explain my case, alleviating any concerns I had along the way. His exact words were “I’m not worried about it”. His unwavering support and guidance were invaluable throughout the entire process. I am immensely grateful for Alex's exceptional legal representation and wholeheartedly recommend his services to anyone in need of a skilled criminal defense attorney. Alex Z is not just a lawyer; he is a beacon of hope for those navigating the complexities of the legal system. If you find yourself in need of a dedicated and competent legal advocate, look no further than Alex Z.
Taïko Beauty
Taïko Beauty
2024-03-15
I don’t know where to start, I can write a novel about this firm, but one thing I will say is that having my best interest was their main priority since the beginning of my case which was back in Winter 2019. Miss Claire Banks, one of the best Attorneys in the firm represented me very well and was very professional, respectful, and truthful. Not once did she leave me in the dark, in fact she presented all options and routes that could possibly be considered for my case and she reinsured me that no matter what I decided to do, her and the team will have my back and that’s exactly what happened. Not only will I be liberated from this case, also, I will enjoy my freedom and continue to be a mother to my first born son and will have no restrictions with accomplishing my goals in life. Now that’s what I call victory!! I thank the Lord, My mother, Claire, and the Spodek team for standing by me and fighting with me. Words can’t describe how grateful I am to have the opportunity to work with this team. I’m very satisfied, very pleased with their performance, their hard work, and their diligence. Thank you team!
Anthony Williams
Anthony Williams
2024-03-12
Hey, how you guys doing? Good afternoon my name is Anthony Williams I just want to give a great shout out to the team of. Spodek law group. It is such a honor to use them and to use their assistance through this whole case from start to finish. They did everything that they said they was gonna do and if it ever comes down to it, if I ever have to use them again, hands-down they will be the first law office at the top of my list, thank you guys so much. It was a pleasure having you guys by my side so if you guys ever need them, do not hesitate to pick up the phone and give them a call.
Loveth Okpedo
Loveth Okpedo
2024-03-12
Very professional, very transparent, over all a great experience
Bee L
Bee L
2024-02-28
Amazing experience with Spodek! Very professional lawyers who take your case seriously. They treated me with respect, were always available, and answered any and all questions. They were able to help me very successfully and removed a huge stress. Highly recommend.
divesh patel
divesh patel
2024-02-24
I can't recommend Alex Zhik and Spodek Law Firm highly enough for their exceptional legal representation and personal mentorship. From the moment I engaged their services in October 2022, Alex took the time to understand my case thoroughly and provided guidance every step of the way. Alex's dedication to my case went above and beyond my expectations. His expertise, attention to detail, and commitment to achieving the best possible outcome were evident throughout the entire process. He took the time to mentor me, ensuring I understood the legal complexities involved to make informed decisions. Alex is the kind of guy you would want to have a beer with and has made a meaningful impact on me. I also want to acknowledge Todd Spodek, the leader of the firm, who played a crucial role in my case. His leadership and support bolstered the efforts of Alex, and his involvement highlighted the firm's commitment to excellence. Thanks to Alex Zhik and Todd Spodek, I achieved the outcome I desired, and I am incredibly grateful for their professionalism, expertise, and genuine care. If you're in need of legal representation, look no further than this outstanding team.
  • No intent to defraud – The business genuinely intended to use funds properly but circumstances changed.
  • Mistake or negligence – Any misstatements on applications were unintentional mistakes rather than willful lies.
  • Lack of knowledge – Owner was unaware of fraud committed by employee or advisor.
  • Statute of limitations – Prosecutors failed to bring charges within 5-year limit.
  • Unconstitutional selective prosecution – Government unfairly targeted defendant based on race, religion, or other protected class.
  • Entrapment – Government encouraged the fraud rather than defendant originating the idea.

An attorney may also seek to suppress evidence improperly obtained by search warrants. And they can negotiate with prosecutors for plea deals or pretrial diversions to avoid convictions.Defending complex financial fraud cases requires an experienced federal criminal defense lawyer. They understand how prosecutors build these cases and the intricacies of the PPP and EIDL programs. This allows them to craft an aggressive defense to get charges reduced or dismissed.

What to Do if You Are Being Investigated

Here are important steps if you learn you are being investigated for potential PPP or EIDL fraud:

  • Do NOT speak to investigators without an attorney present. Assert your right to have counsel. Do not answer questions or provide documents without your lawyer.
  • Gather records now like bank statements, tax returns, loan documents, and communications. These may be relevant to your defense.
  • Consult an attorney immediately. An experienced lawyer can engage with investigators and prosecutors to protect your rights.
  • Follow your lawyer’s advice about responding to subpoenas, testifying before grand juries, or producing records. Do not take actions that could damage your case without their guidance.
  • Avoid actions that could be viewed as obstructing the investigation. Do not destroy records, lie, or otherwise impede government inquiries.

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RAJESH BARUA

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