NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED FEDERAL LAWYERS
Last Updated on: 12th September 2023, 10:12 pm
Washington PPP – SBA – EIDL Loan Fraud Lawyers
Lots of folks got some much-needed help from the government when COVID hit, but some shady characters saw it as an opportunity to take advantage. Let’s break down what happened with PPP and EIDL fraud cases in Washington state.
First, a quick refresher. The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program were set up by the federal government in 2020 to throw struggling small businesses a lifeline during COVID shutdowns. They provided hundreds of billions in emergency loans and grants.
While these programs helped millions legitimately, the rushed rollout also allowed scammers to take advantage. I mean, the government was handing out buckets of cash with limited oversight – it was like Christmas for fraudsters! Prosecutors claim up to $84 billion may have been stolen through PPP and EIDL fraud across the country. And Washington saw some major cases. Let me tell you about a few.
Big Cases in Washington
A Seattle guy named Mukund Mohan tried to rake in over $19 million through fake businesses. He just made up employee numbers and payrolls. Down in Vancouver, Martin Fox collected over $1 million claiming fake employees too. He blew it on fancy cars and swag. And a group in Western Washington stole people’s identities to file for $35 million in loans! They splurged on Lambos and Birkin bags.
Experts say Washington saw so much PPP and EIDL fraud because the programs were just so huge and rushed. PPP pumped out $800 billion through private lenders who often didn’t dig deep on applications.And EIDL’s $400 billion relied on applicants self-certifying with little upfront proof. It was basically an honor system. So it was easy pickings for scammers.
What To Do
If any of this has you worried about your PPP or EIDL loan, talk to a lawyer. They can help protect you whether you’re worried about fraud or being accused of it. And if you did get a loan, be extra careful with that money! Only use it for allowed expenses and keep mega-detailed records. If the feds contact you about your loan, don’t talk to them and call your lawyer immediately. PPP/EIDL fraud charges are no joke.
The Bottom Line
While PPP and EIDL threw struggling businesses a critical lifeline, the high-speed rollout allowed tons of fraud to slip through the cracks. But working with an experienced attorney can help Washington small business owners steer clear of trouble.
Other Major Cases
Beyond the big ones above, plenty of other PPP and EIDL fraud went down across the state. For example:
- A Mill Creek guy lied about 100 employees to get $1.6 million in PPP money.
- A Seattle man got 4 years in prison for seeking $5.5 million in PPP for fake businesses.
- A Seattle dude pleaded guilty to getting $1.1 million in PPP/EIDL for personal purchases.
- A Tukwila man pleaded guilty for filing 18 fraudulent EIDL applications.
How They Get Caught
Most of these cases were investigated and charged federally by the DOJ, FBI, Secret Service, and SBA Inspector General.Common charges include wire fraud, bank fraud, false statements, ID theft, and money laundering.The electronic nature of the loans leads to wire and bank fraud charges. Lying on applications hits you with false statements. ID theft for using others’ info. Money laundering for how they spend the cash.So in summary, scammers gonna scam – but in going after that easy PPP and EIDL money, many just scammed themselves into a cell.