Treasury Department Concerns
While the basic premise of the PPP was fine, the U.S. Treasury Department has voiced extreme concern about fraud due to the disorganized manner in which the PPP was rolled out to businesses. In fact, the Treasury Department has been in close contact with lenders across the nation, seeking input into what concerns they have about the PPP. Unfortunately for business owners, fraud is the top concern of lenders and federal authorities. Since there have already been multiple situations uncovered where certain businesses or individuals were able to apply for and receive PPP loans for which they were not eligible, federal investigators are determined to go after anyone they believe may be guilty of fraud. If you have received a visit from federal agents or got written notice from the U.S. Attorney General’s office that you are now the subject of an investigation, don’t assume they will realize their mistake and move on to another case. Instead, immediately hire experienced PPP loan fraud lawyers who can advise you on what to say and do in the coming weeks.
If there is one thing no government agency wants, it is negative publicity. Unfortunately, there has been plenty of it since the creation of the PPP. As a result, federal investigators are under tremendous pressure to seek out individuals and businesses who may have received PPP funding to which they were not entitled. Due to the many ways in which fraud has already taken place within this program, you can be sure that if federal investigators find anything they believe to be unusual about your PPP loan, they will stay on the case and be determined to bring fraud charges against you. Should this happen, you could easily be staring at thousands of dollars in fines, years in prison, and the ruining of both your personal and professional lives. Instead of letting things get to that point, seek out the counsel of knowledgeable PPP loan fraud lawyers who can discuss your situation with you, examine the evidence investigators supposedly have against you, and guide you each step of the way to ensure costly mistakes do not occur.
If you are being accused of loan stacking, this means investigators believe you received multiple PPP loans from different lenders. Since this is the type of fraud the Treasury Department is most interested in investigating, take it seriously. Due to the federal government being able to track the distribution of PPP funds, you may be under investigation already. However, since many businesses and lenders were unclear from the beginning how the loan program would work, it is possible any additional funding you received was not done with criminal intent. Yet if you want to prove this to investigators, plan on hiring PPP loan fraud lawyers who understand the nuances of government investigations and how they can be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction.
Though the PPP had very strict requirements for obtaining loans, the confusion surrounding the program has opened the door for innocent mistakes to be made. For example, you could have easily been confused as to how many employees your business had to have to make you eligible for the program. In other instances, you may have made mistakes concerning the number of employees versus the number of independent contractors your company uses, which could have also led to problems with your application. Nevertheless, the federal government will not assume you are innocent until proven guilty. Rather, it will do the opposite, placing the burden of proving your innocence squarely on your shoulders. If you made honest mistakes and simply want to get this nightmare of a situation resolved, put your trust in PPP loan fraud lawyers who can convince investigators you did not willfully attempt to defraud the federal government.
Using PPP Funds for Illegal Purposes
Sadly, some people figured out how to obtain PPP funds not to keep businesses going, but to buy luxury items for themselves. However, though it has been very limited numbers of people who have used PPP funds to buy cars, take vacations, purchase homes, and other endeavors, government investigators will carefully scrutinize any large purchases you have recently made. Therefore, if you obtained PPP funds, always be able to account for how they were used in relation to your business.
Though it will be unnerving to be under federal investigation for PPE loan fraud, staying calm and using good judgement will go far in proving your innocence, as will scheduling a consultation with top-notch PPE loan fraud lawyers.