Why is the Government Investigating PPP Loans?
Due to the large amount of confusion that has surrounded the PPP since it was implemented, the U.S. Treasury Department has long feared many people and businesses would take advantage of the situation to commit fraud. Because of this, government investigators are slowly but surely scrutinizing virtually every loan that was handed out to businesses. Thus, should you have made a mistake on your application that resulted in you getting a loan you perhaps were not entitled to under the existing rules, the government could be suspecting you of committing fraud. If this is the case, have PPP loan fraud lawyers by your side as soon as possible to ensure your legal rights are always protected.
Gone in a Matter of Minutes
When the PPP was made available to those in need of financial support, it shocked federal officials at how quickly the billions of dollars available were gone in only a matter of minutes. With lenders across the country facing an avalanche of applications, the chances of mistakes being made or people intentionally deciding to take advantage of the situation were quite high. This, coupled with tremendous negative publicity surrounding the PPP and certain instances where fraud was uncovered, have led investigators to take a very aggressive stance when looking at these loans. Therefore, even if you made a honest mistake, investigators will probably assume you are guilty of committing fraud and do all they can to punish you severely. Instead of letting the federal government make an example out of you over an honest mistake, let a skilled PPP loan fraud lawyer explain your situation to prosecutors and help you avoid serious legal consequences.
Tracking the Loans
Since the federal government has a database allowing it to track the distribution of all PPP funds, the Treasury Department is doing all it can to scrutinize each of these transactions. As a result, even if you received your PPP loan and believe you used the money appropriately, the government may think otherwise. Thus, you could have a knock at the door of your business and suddenly find federal agents wanting to ask you many questions and putting pressure on you to talk with them on the spot. If you do, you may say or do things that could be used against you later on should the government decide to charge you with fraud. Instead of making mistakes that could make it much more difficult to win your case in court, say as little as is required to investigators until you have hired PPP loan fraud lawyers to handle these discussions on your behalf.
What are Examples of Fraud?
As for what the federal government would consider to be PPP fraud, there are many examples. One of the most common is providing inaccurate information on your PPP loan application, which whether this was done intentionally or not will be construed by investigators as an attempt by you to defraud the government. Other examples include loan stacking, which is receiving multiple PPP loans from many different banks or other lenders, as well as spending funds from your PPP loan on things not considered to fall within government regulations. Thus, if you received a PPP loan and then only a short time later purchased a new vehicle, home, or other big-ticket item, a red flag will appear in front of investigators, prompting an investigation. Even if the purchases you made were perfectly legal and did not involve your PPP funds, explaining this and proving this to investigators will be a long and confusing process. Instead of trying to do this on your own, always have a PPP loan fraud lawyer with you whenever you are preparing to be interviewed by federal authorities.
What Penalties Could I Face?
When investigators are trying to pin PPP loan fraud charges on you, they will always make sure they state the possible penalties you could face, such as large fines and years spent in prison. However, don’t let these intimidation tactics pressure you into incriminating yourself in any way. Since you are still protected by numerous legal rights in these situations, don’t allow the federal government to railroad you into a conviction that occurs simply due to a honest mistake on your part. Instead, stay calm and let investigators know you have nothing else to say until you have hired experienced PPP loan fraud lawyers as your legal counsel.