Jacksonville SBA Loan Fraud Attorney
Fighting Accusations of EIDL and PPP Loan Fraud
In response to the economic fallout of the COVID-19 pandemic, Congress enacted the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). Provisions within the CARES Act established federal financial programs to help businesses stay afloat during this difficult time. These included the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL). Many small and medium-sized businesses took advantage of the programs to help them cover expenses as revenue was dwindling due to the pandemic. Because these were unprecedented times, regulations and guidelines concerning the relief funds weren't completely clear and changes were made midstream that caused confusion. Now, the federal government is investigating individuals who applied for and received federal funding due to PPP or EIDL eligibility requirements.
Being subject to federal investigation and prosecution is serious. If you are being investigated or have been accused of any type of federal SBA loan fraud, it's essential that you contact Mitchell A. Stone, P.A. Attorney Mitchell A. Stone has over 30 years of legal experience and is familiar with the rules, regulations and processes of federal courts. He can provide the legal counsel you need for your federal EIDL or PPP loan fraud case in Jacksonville and the State of Florida. From the start, he will evaluate your case to determine the defenses that can be raised to challenge any allegations made against you. At every stage, he will provide attentive and effective representation to seek a favorable outcome on your behalf.
Conduct Leading to Federal SBA Loan Fraud Investigations
The PPP provides federal financial assistance for small businesses to continue to pay their workers. Recipients are required to use the funds for payroll, benefits, mortgage, rent, utilities, and property damage expenses not covered by insurance. If borrowers meet certain criteria, their loan could be forgiven.
Similarly, the SBA EIDL was created to help small business owners pay expenses that they otherwise would have been able to meet had their business not been affected by COVID. Agricultural businesses meeting specific eligibility requirements could also qualify for this loan. Unlike the PPP, the EIDL Loan is typically not forgivable unless the business received an EIDL Advance.
Both the PPP and EIDL are attractive loans for small and medium businesses, and many owners have and continue to apply for them. After scrutiny of application materials and records of funds usage, the federal government is finding that some owners may have engaged in SBA loan fraud to obtain financial assistance under these programs.
Federal agents are investigating conduct allegedly involving:
- Receipt of multiple loans: This offense involves one business owner submitting multiple applications to different lenders. Receiving multiple loans may trigger federal investigation and prosecution.
- Submission of material misrepresentations: Both the PPP and EIDL loans have specific criteria business owners must meet. Unfortunately, some applicants may have knowingly provided incorrect information to qualify and may now be facing federal charges.
- Improper use of funds: As mentioned earlier, SBA loan recipients are required to use the funds for specific financial obligations and business-related expenses. The federal government may prosecute those who have used the loan for other purposes.
The penalties for a federal SBA loan fraud conviction are severe. Depending on the specific charge, they may include a lengthy term of imprisonment and significant fines. If you have been accused of engaging in the conduct listed above or any other offense, speak with the Jacksonville PPP loan fraud attorney at Mitchell A. Stone, P.A. about your legal options.
Obtain Legal Representation for an SBA Loan Fraud Investigation
Federal agents conduct extensive investigations for alleged EIDL or PPP fraud. If you are suspected of an offense, an agent may try to question you or in some cases issue a subpoena or search warrant to obtain information and documents they consider pertinent to the case. Even at this early stage in the legal process, it is essential you have an attorney on your side to give advice and guidance concerning how to respond, what to say and your obligations for complying with any court order.
Mitchell A. Stone, P.A. is ready to deliver the legal help you need. Jacksonville SBA loan fraud lawyer Mitchell A. Stone will provide thorough and clear answers to your questions and concerns. He will also supply you with the details you need to make informed decisions about the progress of your case.