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New Mexico PPP – SBA – EIDL Loan Fraud Lawyers

March 21, 2024 Uncategorized

New Mexico PPP – SBA – EIDL Loan Fraud Lawyers

The COVID-19 pandemic brought unprecedented economic disruption and hardship for small businesses across New Mexico. To provide relief, the federal government offered lifeline programs like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. While these programs threw a critical lifeline to countless businesses, some unscrupulous actors saw them as an opportunity for fraud and abuse.

In New Mexico, PPP and EIDL fraud has become a major concern. With billions in pandemic aid flowing rapidly, fraudsters took advantage by falsifying information on applications, creating fake businesses, misusing loan funds, and more. State and federal authorities are now cracking down on this criminal activity through investigations and prosecutions.

Common Types of PPP and EIDL Fraud

Some of the most common PPP and EIDL fraud schemes in New Mexico include:

  • Falsified information – Providing fake employee, payroll, or tax information to qualify for larger loans.
  • Fake businesses – Creating shell or non-existent companies to apply for funds.
  • Misuse of funds – Using loans for unauthorized personal expenses instead of approved business costs.
  • Multiple applications – Applying for multiple loans through different lenders for the same business.
  • Identity theft – Using stolen personal information to fraudulently apply for loans.

While the SBA attempted to verify information and prevent fraud, the rush to distribute aid meant their controls were limited. This allowed criminals to easily exploit the programs on a massive scale.

Investigations and Prosecutions on the Rise

In response to widespread PPP and EIDL fraud, federal and state authorities in New Mexico have ramped up investigations and prosecutions. The U.S. Attorney’s Office, FBI, IRS, and other agencies are pursuing criminal charges against individuals and groups engaged in pandemic loan fraud.

Some recent cases in New Mexico include:

  • In October 2022, Ricky Bieniemy was charged with wire fraud and money laundering for allegedly obtaining $1.1 million in PPP loans using fake documents and shell companies.
  • In August 2022, the DOJ announced charges against a Las Cruces couple accused of falsifying employment records to obtain $1.1 million in fraudulent PPP loans.
  • In 2021, six New Mexico residents were charged in a scheme to obtain $650,000 in PPP loans using fake tax documents and shell companies.

These cases are just a sample of the PPP and EIDL fraud prosecutions underway in New Mexico. Officials warn there are likely many more investigations pending.

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.
Brendan huisman
Brendan huisman
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 🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙏🏼🙌🏼❤️
Keisha Parris
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.

Potential Charges and Penalties

Individuals and groups accused of PPP or EIDL fraud in New Mexico face a range of potential criminal charges including:

  • Wire fraud
  • Bank fraud
  • Money laundering
  • Identity theft
  • Making false statements

If convicted, penalties can be severe. Wire fraud and bank fraud charges carry sentences up to 30 years in prison. Fines and restitution may also be imposed for the full amount of the fraudulent loans obtained.

Hiring an Experienced Federal Defense Lawyer

Those charged with PPP or EIDL fraud should retain an experienced federal defense lawyer immediately. An attorney can carefully examine the prosecution’s evidence and determine if any procedural mistakes, illegal searches, or other issues could result in charges being reduced or dismissed.

In some cases, it may be possible for a lawyer to negotiate a favorable plea agreement or pretrial diversion to avoid a felony conviction. An attorney can also present mitigating factors to the judge at sentencing to help minimize penalties if convicted.

Facing federal fraud accusations is frightening, but skilled legal counsel makes a major difference. Do not delay in contacting a qualified lawyer if you are being investigated or prosecuted for alleged PPP or EIDL fraud in New Mexico. Time is of the essence in building the strongest possible defense.

Avoiding Fraud in the First Place

For small business owners applying for pandemic relief loans, it is critical to avoid any missteps that could be construed as fraud. When submitting PPP or EIDL applications, be sure to:

  • Provide accurate employee, payroll, and tax documentation.
  • Use loans only for approved business expenses.
  • Maintain detailed records on how funds are used.
  • Consult an accountant or lawyer if unsure of eligibility or use of proceeds.

Pandemic relief programs were intended to help businesses survive unprecedented challenges. Unfortunately fraud by some has tainted these programs and now prosecutors are aggressively pursuing charges. By working closely with experienced legal counsel, those facing allegations can protect their rights and build the strongest defense. For law-abiding small business owners, the lesson is to use government loans ethically and transparently.

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Todd Spodek

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RALPH P. FRANCHO, JR

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JEREMY FEIGENBAUM

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ELIZABETH GARVEY

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CLAIRE BANKS

Associate

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RAJESH BARUA

Of-Counsel

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CHAD LEWIN

Of-Counsel

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