16 May 23

Lincoln PPP and EIDL Loan Fraud Lawyers

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Shield Your Business from PPP Loan Fraud Allegations: The Ultimate Guide


The COVID-19 pandemic has undeniably placed a massive financial burden on businesses, prompting the creation of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to offer a lifeline in these challenging times. However, numerous flaws and the rapid depletion of available funds plague the PPP, leaving countless eligible businesses empty-handed. Consequently, the U.S. Treasury Department’s Office of the Comptroller of the Currency (OCC) is rigorously investigating PPP loan fraud, and any company that obtained funds through fraudulent means is at risk of severe prosecution.

In this compelling article, we will uncover the true nature of PPP loan fraud allegations and provide critical advice on safeguarding your business from such claims. Additionally, we will delve into the eligibility criteria for PPP loans and shed light on potential fraud allegations associated with the program.

Eligibility Criteria for PPP Loans

A company MUST meet the following criteria to be eligible for a PPP loan:

  1. Number of Employees: Employ no more than 500 workers.
  2. Employee-Based Size Standards: Meet the specific Small Business Administration (SBA) employee-based size standards for their respective industries.
  3. Payroll Costs: Only qualify for loans equal to up to two months’ average monthly payroll costs from the previous year, plus an additional 25 percent. The maximum loan amount is capped at $10 million.

The Anatomy of PPP Loan Fraud Allegations

PPP loan fraud can stem from either deliberate misrepresentations in applications or inadvertent errors. Companies that receive funds from multiple lenders may find themselves in the government’s crosshairs due to their suspicious activities. Here, we reveal the possible allegations associated with PPP loan fraud:

  1. Loan “Stacking”: When an applicant fraudulently acquires multiple loans from different lenders.
  2. PPP Loan Application Fraud: Providing false or misleading information intentionally during the application process.
  3. Fraudulent Loan Certification: Falsely certifying essential facts required by law.
  4. Using Funds for Ineligible Purposes: Spending the funds in a manner that violates federal guidelines.
  5. Using Funds for Fraudulent Purposes: Engaging in personal fraudulent activities with the funds.
  6. Fraudulent Loan Forgiveness Certification: Submitting false documentation for loan forgiveness certification.
  7. Misrepresenting or Concealing Information During a PPP Audit or Investigation: Providing false statements or strategically withholding information when required to disclose under oath.

Fortify Your Business Against PPP Loan Fraud Allegations

Businesses that apply for loans from numerous lenders run the risk of committing loan stacking fraud. Due to the federal government’s ability to track the proper distribution of funds, it is virtually impossible for any recipient to claim multiple loans without consequence. Companies caught in the act of such fraudulent activities should brace for a legal storm, as prosecution may be imminent.

In order to qualify for a PPP loan, businesses must satisfy the eligibility criteria outlined above. Any misrepresentation of the facts during the application process can lead to allegations of false eligibility claims and potential PPP loan fraud prosecution.

PPP applicants are legally obliged to certify the veracity of their application, regarding essential facts required by law. Any willfully false claims or omissions of critical information can quickly snowball into a federal offense.

The proper use of PPP loan funds is restricted to four specific, authorized purposes outlined under federal guidelines. Unauthorized spending of these funds could result in legal action against the recipients.

Individuals who misuse the funds for fraudulent purposes may find themselves facing severe consequences under False Claims Act laws. Company owners and executives could potentially face exorbitant fines and lengthy imprisonment if prosecuted for multiple statutory offenses.

In many cases, PPP loan forgiveness is achievable if the business provides accurate documentation to support their continuous eligibility and appropriate use of funds. Attempting to secure this forgiveness through false certification may result in further legal ramifications.

When businesses face an investigation, they should avoid withholding or concealing key information, as this could intensify their risk of prosecution. False accusations against business owners or executives who withhold crucial information or provide misleading statements to federal law enforcement officers may lead to individual prosecution.

What to Do if Your Company Faces PPP Loan Fraud Allegations?

The most effective defense against PPP loan fraud allegations involves engaging the expertise of experienced federal defense counsel. Skilled attorneys with a deep-rooted understanding of federal defense law can confidently guide companies through the daunting process of fighting unsubstantiated allegations. At Oberheiden P.C., our revered team of federal defense lawyers stands ready to represent clients embroiled in a multitude of COVID-19 pandemic-related issues, boasting the vital experience needed for defending against PPP loan fraud allegations.

Lincoln PPP and EIDL Loan Fraud Lawyers

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