Justice Department Aggressively Prosecuting PPP Loan Fraud

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Since the start of the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the Justice Department and other government agencies have been steadfast in prosecuting PPP Fraud. Indictments and sentences in federal court over the past few months show how this trend is continuing. 

In December of last year an Ex-NFL player was sentenced to 3 years for defrauding the program of $1.2 million dollars. This charge was brought forth in connection to fraud schemes worth $24 million dollars. Josh Bellamy, a former Wide Receiver for various NFL teams, worked with James Stote to file falsified claims in order to receive PPP loans. He then used that money on luxury items and personal expenses. 

This is not the only case of PPP Fraud, it’s not the only case where a federal loan was used on items such as jewelry or designer clothes. Over the past few months, the Justice Department has once again reiterated its commitment to investigating and prosecuting charges related to this program. 

In May, a case spanning 3 federal court districts led to two men being sentenced and a total of 25 being charged. This case ended up involving over $15 million dollars in restitution and forfeiture. Also in May of this year, a Texas and Maryland duo were charged with Bank fraud related to COVID-19 relief. Further proof that the justice department is not letting up. 

The Justice Department estimates that over $80 billion dollars distributed, as part of the government’s COVID-19 relief package, is related to fraud. In March two New Jersey residents were charged with PPP-related fraud offenses as a result of receiving over $2 million dollars in aid money. They used the money to create sham corporations to mask their spending. 

Not all businesses that applied for and used money related to the Paycheck Protection Program were acting in bad faith. As of March 2022 only 178 individuals have been charged in connection to PPP Fraud. The PPP Program was designed to keep people employed and businesses afloat. Of course, as with any well-intentioned program, there is bound to be some abuse. Especially, as in the case of PPP, when there is a fast-tracked need for relief. Even though a relatively small number of individuals have been charged, that number will only grow. 

Criminal Defense Firm in Atlanta – Arora Law

Not everyone investigated or charged with fraud, or fraud related to the PPP program, is guilty. You need to defend yourself from conviction and the worst of consequences. It’s critical as a business owner or manager that you mitigate any possible blowback from a PPP loan. That’s where we can help.
The Arora Law Firm has over 20 years of criminal defense experience. We have worked with clients throughout the State of Georgia and the US. Our firm has the experience and aggressive approach necessary to defend against any White Collar Crime charge. To find out more contact us today at 404-609-4664 or click here.

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