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PPP Loan Fraud

PPP LOAN FRAUD

PPP loan fraud charges can be devastating to your future and place you in financial ruins. Not only may you face a lengthy prison sentence, but the government has the power to seize your assets and leave you and your family with nothing. You must protect yourself by retaining an experienced PPP loan fraud defense attorney at the early stages of the investigation. Being proactive and intervening at the case's early stages may help legally deflect the government's case against you.

PPP fraud charges may result from:

  • Submitting fictitious financial statements in support of a PPP bank loan
  • Lying about the number of employees your business has
  • Spending PPP loan money on items unrelated to your business
PPP Loan Fraud is a Federal Crime in the United States

Payroll Protection Program Background

The Payroll Protection Program ("PPP") loan was enacted per the CARES Act. The CARES Act was designed to provide emergency financial relief to millions of American businesses who are suffering from the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. Congress authorized over $750 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses that qualify to retain jobs, provide a wide variety of working capital, and sustain normal business operations.

The federal government is inundated with investigations about PPP loan fraud throughout the United States. Sections within the Department of Justice are strictly devoted to PPP loan fraud investigations. The government discovered that a substantial amount of individuals and businesses fraudulently obtained money during a time when banks and lenders were urgently disbursing money to suffering businesses.

PPP Loan Fraud Investigations

Federal prosecutors are aggressively prosecuting PPP loan fraud offenders. It is among the most common crime currently being investigated by the federal government. The statute of limitations is generally five years for federal crimes. This allows more than enough time for investigators to conduct meticulous accounting and sift through voluminous financials.

Agencies such as the FBI or IRS will first obtain a report from an individual or lender recommending a criminal investigation. Investigators will obtain bank documents and tax records to determine the legitimacy of the loan application's representations. If there are discrepancies, agents will author a search warrant for more records without the suspect ever knowing.

Experienced Federal PPP Loan Fraud Lawyer

The U.S. Attorney's Office has enormous power and resources to ensure a suspect later stands convicted. Accordingly, you must enlist the help of a lawyer who frequently handles cases with their office. Retaining the right federal criminal defense attorney may be one of the most important decisions that you make. Hiring an inexperienced lawyer can lead to irreparable harm to your case and future.

John D. Rogers is a state bar board-certified criminal law specialist representing his clients in state and federal courts. The California licensing authority has independently verified his experience. He is an experienced and respected trial attorney who solely practices in the criminal defense field. He stands ready to intervene at any stage of the case, from grand jury subpoena to trial.

Charges Resulting from PPP Loan Fraud

Bank Fraud

Bank fraud occurs when a suspect uses deceit to obtain money or property from a lending institution – i.e., a bank. It is charged under 18 U.S.C. § 1344. A conviction is punishable by up to 30 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000, and full repayment of any lost money.

Wire Fraud

Wire fraud is charged under 18 U.S.C. § 1343, and it occurs when a suspect electronically transmits something to facilitate a fraudulent scheme. It has a maximum punishment of 30 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000.

False Statement

Providing a false statement to a lending institution is a federal crime charged under 18 U.S.C. § 1014. A false statement is ordinarily provided in the application process or by submitting false financial information to obtain the loan. It is punishable by up to 30 years in federal prison and a fine of up to $1,000,000.

The Small Business Administration oversees PPP Loan Applications and Forgiveness

Penalties Resulting from PPP Loan Fraud

There is no specific charge of PPP loan fraud. Instead, PPP loan fraud is a theory of how the defendant committed the offense but carries it out through the wire, providing a false statement or lying to the lender by other means.

Statutory Punishment

Generally, the statutory punishment for PPP loan fraud is:

  • Up to 30 years in federal prison
  • Fine of up to $1 million

Sentencing Guidelines

The U.S. Sentencing Guidelines determine the appropriate prison sentence based on many factors.

  • The actual loss amount
  • Number of victims
  • The planning and sophistication of the offense
  • Your prior criminal record

Restitution

The Court will impose a restitution judgment and order the defendant to repay all the money fraudulently obtained from the lender.

Collateral Consequences

  • Seizure of your assets – i.e., properties, stocks, bonds, bank accounts
  • Loss or suspension of your professional license
  • Adverse immigration consequences to Non-U.S. citizens
  • A life-long prohibition from owning or possessing a firearm

Defending Federal PPP Loan Fraud Charges

The spirit of PPP loan fraud is that you specifically intended to use trickery, fraud, or deceit in obtaining federal dollars. Accordingly, acts of negligence, carelessness, or accidents may serve as viable defenses. Our office will also explore whether agents violated your Fourth Amendment rights by unlawfully searching your property without a search warrant. Most importantly, lending institutions are overwhelmed with financial records and documents. Therefore, if you disclosed what the funds were to be used for, you did not commit fraud since the bank ultimately funded you the money.

Schedule a PPP Loan Fraud Consultation

Whether you are the target of a federal PPP loan fraud or you have concerns about a potential investigation, our PPP loan fraud defense attorneys are here to help. Contact us today to schedule a free consultation with an experienced Los Angeles federal criminal defense attorney. We handle PPP loan fraud cases in all the following localities:

  • Los Angeles
  • Orange County
  • Santa Ana
  • San Diego
  • Riverside
  • Fresno

CONTACT US TODAY

Orange County federal crimes lawyer John Rogers is committed to providing exceptional representation all throughout California federal courts.

We'll gladly discuss your case with you at your convenience. Contact us today to schedule a confidential appointment.

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