PPP Loan Fraud Lawyers
Throughout 2020, businesses large and small across the United States have grappled with staying profitable during the COVID-19 pandemic. But while many businesses have closed their doors for good, others have stayed afloat thanks to loans given them through the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program. A key part of the CARES Act passed in March, the PPP has been both praised and criticized, mainly for its unclear guidelines for business owners and the speed at which its $350 billion in funds was depleted. Unfortunately for business owners, another problem has arisen for those who received these funds. Since guidelines were vague at best and companies were eager to make sure they got the funding they needed to stay in business, many are now being accused of or even charged with defrauding the federal government. If you are one of the many business owners now being harassed or threatened by federal investigators and prosecutors, schedule a meeting at once with a PPP loan fraud lawyer.
Why You’re Accused of Fraud
As to why many business owners are now finding themselves being threatened with criminal charges and prison sentences, the primary reason is simply the government not liking the bad publicity it has received for its rollout of the PPP. In many situations, business owners had little if any guidance from the federal government or lenders as to how applications should be completed and submitted, how the funding could be used in relation to their business, and numerous other areas where companies had to figure it out for themselves. Because of this and many mistakes that were made by the government and lenders when dispersing funds, business owners are now being told they committed fraud. Yet while the government may say you committed fraud, saying it and proving it are two very different things. Thus, even if the government has taken the extraordinary step of filing fraud charges against you, don’t assume the fight is already lost. Instead, keep your wits about you, contact a PPP loan fraud lawyer, and discuss your situation in much greater detail.
Scrutinizing PPP Transactions
While going here and there accusing business owners of PPP loan fraud, Treasury Department officials are also hastily looking through federal databases containing PPP loan information to scrutinize the loans given to businesses. In doing so, they are also looking to see if those who received funding also made any expensive purchases around the time their loans were received. For example, if you got a PPP loan near the time you also bought a new car, federal investigators may be quick to assume you used the PPP money to buy a personal vehicle. Even if you know this is not true and have the documentation to prove it, chances are it will take weeks or more to convince investigators you are in the clear. To ensure this happens, it will be best for you to hire an experienced PPP loan fraud lawyer and let them take up the fight for you with federal authorities.
Lenders and Loan Stacking
Even though the federal government and lenders across the country are primarily to blame for the PPP chaos, many lenders have chosen to turn their backs on PPP loan recipients once federal investigators come calling. In fact, the Treasury Department has actively solicited input from banks to find out which PPP loan recipients lenders believe may be guilty of fraud. Armed with this information, federal agents have spread out across the country in an effort to assign blame to business owners, most of whom have only been focused on keeping their companies financially stable until the pandemic ends. However, should the federal government discover you received PPP funding from more than one lender, they will not hesitate to accuse you of loan stacking, which is another way of saying fraud. If this occurs, you will have the prospect of a prison sentence dangled in front of you by investigators, hoping this will force you into a confession. However, don’t give in to the pressure. If you did receive multiple loans but had no criminal intent behind this, you deserve your day in court to explain your side of the story. To make sure you get that and walk away a winner, hire a PPP loan fraud lawyer who has years of experience taking on the federal government.
The Art of Intimidation
If there is one thing the federal government and its investigators and prosecutors do very well, it is intimidate those whom they have placed under investigation. In the case of PPP loan fraud, they will not only threaten you with prison and large fines, but also try to break you down by telling you your personal and professional reputations will be forever ruined. However, this is not true. While you will initially feel some embarrassment at being placed under federal investigation, you will also feel anger at knowing you did not willfully try to do anything wrong. Therefore, channel your anger in a positive way by speaking to a PPP loan fraud lawyer who can plan an effective legal strategy on your behalf.
While some people have no doubt scammed the federal government through the PPP, you should not allow yourself to be grouped in with those who are actual criminals. To ensure you have an attorney on your side who will protect your legal rights, hire a PPP loan fraud lawyer today.