NATIONALLY RECOGNIZED FEDERAL LAWYERS
Last Updated on: 12th September 2023, 10:02 pm
Missouri PPP and EIDL Loan Fraud
When COVID-19 hit, it was a huge blow to businesses across the country. To help, the government started emergency loan programs like the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. The goal was to get money to folks fast. But this rush also led to a lot of fraud and abuse.
This has been a huge issue in Missouri. Law enforcement here is going after tons of PPP and EIDL fraud cases. They’ve charged dozens of Missouri residents and businesses with lying on applications to get loans. The people accused range from small business owners to white collar professionals who saw a chance to make some easy money.
While their reasons differ, the fraud schemes in Missouri are often similar. Folks are accused of inflating their payroll numbers, faking employee counts, making up tax records, or just totally inventing businesses. The Department of Justice has also gone after people for bank, wire, and mail fraud when they moved around or spent the illegal cash.
The Cost of Getting Caught
If found guilty of PPP or EIDL fraud, the penalties can be huge. People face multiple felony charges with massive fines and years in federal prison. The government also tries to take back all the stolen loan money. For example, a business owner in Springfield recently pleaded guilty to scamming the SBA for $14 million. He’s looking at up to 30 years behind bars.
Major Fraud Cases in Missouri
Here are some of the big COVID relief fraud cases so far in Missouri:
- A Kansas City man pleaded guilty to making up businesses to get over $500,000 in PPP loans.
- A St. Louis County resident was charged with submitting 18 fake PPP applications worth $1.1 million. He’s facing multiple fraud and money laundering charges.
- A Springfield pharmacist was convicted of fraudulently getting over $890,000 in PPP and EIDL loans.
- A Kansas City man pleaded guilty to falsifying PPP applications for over $1.1 million.
- A St. Louis accountant was charged with allegedly faking records to get $682,000 in PPP loans.
As you can see, people get pretty creative with PPP and EIDL scams. But greed also makes some folks take dumb risks that are easy to catch.
Fighting Back Against the Charges
Even with strong evidence, those accused of COVID relief fraud have defense options. Some potential arguments include:
- You didn’t mean to commit fraud.
- You didn’t actually make false statements.
- The rules were vague so you made mistakes accidentally.
- You used the money for allowed purposes.
- Someone pressured you into applying fraudulently.
An experienced lawyer can look at the details of your case and build the best defense strategy.
Getting a Lawyer is Crucial
Facing federal fraud charges without a lawyer is really tough. PPP and EIDL cases can lead to huge fines, jail time, and other serious punishments. A skilled attorney who knows financial crime defense can protect you by:
- Guiding you through the investigation.
- Looking for improper police procedures.
- Negotiating with prosecutors to get charges dropped or reduced.
- Crafting a defense to create doubt about your guilt.
- Arguing for lower penalties if convicted.
Don’t wait to get a lawyer if you’re being investigated for PPP or EIDL fraud. Getting help quickly can really improve your chances. They’ll act fast to protect you.
Missouri has seen a ton of fraud in COVID relief programs. But the right lawyer can help you avoid fines, jail time, and other consequences. With a strong defense, you may be able to move past the charges.