Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Fraud Criminal Lawyer
PPP Fraud is a Federal Crime
An individual suspected of committing fraudulent acts in connection with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) may face civil and/or criminal penalties. The PPP is a federally funded program, and therefore any fraud-related criminal charges that result from abusing this program will likely be heard in federal court.
Federal criminal charges such as aggravated identify theft (18 U.S.C. § 1028A(a)(1)) are extremely serious as they can include mandatory prison sentences. It is therefore important to hire a criminal lawyer who is experienced with federal fraud charges.
Examples of PPP Fraud
- Obtaining a PPP loan using the identity of another individual.
- Obtaining multiple PPP loans from multiple SBA 7(a) lenders (known as “loan stacking”).
- Misrepresenting a company’s payroll costs or employee count in order to obtain additional PPP loan funds.
- Using PPP loan funds for ineligible business purposes.
- Falsely certifying that a company has fully complied with the terms of the PPP and that the company is therefore entitled to loan forgiveness.
Federal Prosecution in PPP Loan Criminal Cases
The SBA-OIG (SBA Office of Inspector General) and DOJ (Department of Justice) focus strongly on pursuing criminal charges in cases in which it appears that efforts to defraud the PPP were intentional. This is because lack of intent can be a defense to criminal culpability.
Potential Charges in PPP Loan Fraud Cases Can Include:
- “Aggravated Identity Theft” (18 U.S.C. § 1028A)
- “Attempt and Conspiracy” (18 U.S.C. § 1349)
- “Bank Fraud” (18 U.S.C. § 1344)
- (Generally) Making False Statements to the Small Business Administration (18 U.S.C. § 1014)
- (Generally) Making False Statements to an FDIC-Insured Bank (18 U.S.C. § 1014)
- (Generally) Making False Statements to Federal Agents ((18 U.S.C. § 1001)
- Tax Evasion (26 U.S.C. § 7201)
- Wire Fraud (18 U.S.C. § 1343)
Are You Being Investigated for PPP Loan Fraud?
You may learn of an investigation by receiving a letter in the mail or a knock on the door from a federal agent. You may also discover your bank account(s) have been seized or frozen. If this happens please call us for a free legal consultation. There are steps that need to be taken quickly to respond to this action in order to contest the seizure and/or protect you from criminal charges.
If you are contacted by a federal agent in regard to your PPP loan, please consider contacting one of our PPP fraud lawyers before making any statements or offering any documentation. This is your right and won’t be held against you. Having a lawyer assist you early can avoid further complications like additional penalties for obstruction of justice or making false statements.
CONTACT SHRAGER DEFENSE ATTORNEYS 24/7 FOR A FREE LEGAL CONSULTATION
It is extremely important to act as soon as possible in seeking legal counsel if you suspect you are being investigated for PPP loan fraud. Our Pittsburgh criminal lawyers are very experienced in federal law and can help you. Please call 412-969-2540 to start your defense.