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Wisconsin PPP – SBA – EIDL Loan Fraud Lawyers

March 21, 2024 Uncategorized

Wisconsin PPP – SBA – EIDL Loan Fraud Lawyers

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program, administered by the Small Business Administration (SBA), were created under the CARES Act in 2020 to provide emergency financial relief to small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. However, these programs have also been exploited by fraudsters looking to take advantage of the expedited loan process and limited oversight, leaving the government vulnerable to billions in losses.

In Wisconsin, federal prosecutors have been aggressively pursuing PPP and EIDL fraud cases, charging business owners and individuals who engaged in schemes to defraud the programs. Understanding the relevant laws and potential defenses is critical for anyone facing allegations of PPP or EIDL fraud in Wisconsin.

Federal Laws Related to PPP and EIDL Fraud

There are several key federal criminal statutes that prosecutors rely on in PPP and EIDL fraud cases:

  • Wire Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1343) – Making interstate wire transmissions to execute a scheme to defraud.
  • Bank Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1344) – Executing a scheme to defraud a financial institution.
  • False Statements (18 U.S.C. § 1001) – Knowingly making false statements in a matter within federal agency jurisdiction.
  • Aggravated Identity Theft (18 U.S.C. § 1028A) – Knowingly transferring, possessing, or using another person’s means of identification during and in relation to a felony violation.

Prosecutors often charge multiple counts under these statutes based on each fraudulent loan application, false document, or wire transmission. The penalties can add up quickly, with each count carrying up to 30 years in prison.

Recent PPP and EIDL Fraud Cases in Wisconsin

Some examples of recent PPP and EIDL fraud prosecutions in Wisconsin include:

  • In September 2022, two Milwaukee residents were charged with wire fraud and money laundering after allegedly obtaining $1.1 million in PPP loans using sham companies and false documents.
  • In August 2022, a Milwaukee man was charged with bank fraud and aggravated identity theft for allegedly obtaining $600,000 in fraudulent PPP and EIDL loans using stolen personal information.
  • In June 2022, two Fond du Lac County residents were charged with wire fraud and money laundering related to $1.4 million in fraudulent PPP and EIDL loan applications.

These cases demonstrate the seriousness with which federal prosecutors are pursuing PPP and EIDL fraud in Wisconsin. The charges often carry lengthy prison sentences and require experienced criminal defense counsel.

Potential Defenses in PPP and EIDL Fraud Cases

Despite the severity of the charges, viable defenses may exist in PPP and EIDL fraud cases, including:

  • Lack of intent – The government must prove you knowingly participated in fraudulent conduct. Mistakes, inadvertent errors, or lack of fraudulent intent may be a defense.
  • Loan eligibility – You may be able to challenge the assertion that your business or loan application was fraudulent or ineligible.
  • Statute of limitations – There are deadlines on how long after an alleged crime prosecutors can bring charges.
  • Suppression – If evidence was obtained illegally, it may be possible to have it excluded from the case.

An experienced federal fraud defense lawyer can analyze the specifics of your case to determine if any viable defenses are available to fight the charges. The complexities of PPP and EIDL program rules demand specialized legal guidance.

Whistleblower Rewards for Reporting PPP and EIDL Fraud

Under the False Claims Act, private citizens with evidence of fraudulent conduct involving government programs can file a whistleblower lawsuit on behalf of the government and may be eligible for 15-30% of any recovered funds. For PPP and EIDL fraud in Wisconsin, whistleblowers can report misconduct to experienced qui tam attorneys and potentially earn substantial rewards while assisting prosecutors.

Consulting a Lawyer for PPP or EIDL Investigations

If you are contacted by federal agents or receive a target letter related to potential PPP or EIDL fraud charges in Wisconsin, retaining skilled legal counsel quickly is critical. An attorney can help guide you through the investigation and build defenses to possible criminal or civil prosecution.

Navigating PPP and EIDL fraud allegations requires an understanding of complex federal statutes, program rules, potential penalties, and the power federal prosecutors wield. Experienced Wisconsin white collar and fraud defense lawyers have the background necessary to protect your rights and future.

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