Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Fraud
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Fraud cases have been on the rise since its inception as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Defending PPP Fraud
If someone is found guilty of either of these criminal activities, he or she can face severe penalties of up to 30 years in prison and up to $1,000,000 in fines. This makes it imperative to have the best defense possible to mitigate these penalties.
Common defense strategies include:
Challenging the Government’s Evidence
We may argue that there is insufficient evidence to establish a client’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt or point out inconsistencies in the paperwork provided by the government.
By scrutinizing every piece of evidence, including financial records, bank statements, and application materials, defendants aim to create doubts about their alleged wrongdoing before a judge or jury.
Lack of Intent or Knowledge
Many small business owners were thrust into unprecedented circumstances with the economic fallout caused by the pandemic, and they were desperate to save their enterprises from sinking. In many cases, these entrepreneurs had limited knowledge about government loan programs and relied on consultants or advisors who may have misled them unintentionally.
Further, to be eligible for forgiveness, applicants needed to navigate a maze of guidelines and regulations that even experienced professionals found confusing at times. For small business owners already struggling to stay afloat, dedicating extensive time and resources to fully comprehend every intricate detail may have been an unfeasible task.
In some instances, mistakes made during this arduous process could have inadvertently resulted in fraudulent claims without the applicant’s awareness.
Good Faith Defense
If a client believes that they applied for and used PPP loan funds for a legitimate reason, we can also emphasize their sincere belief that they were eligible for PPP loans despite any irregularities discovered later on.
We can argue that our clients relied on advice from professionals, such as accountants or legal experts, who assured them they met all necessary criteria and requirements for obtaining these funds.
Related: SBA EIBL Loan Fraud
An SBA EIDL (Economic Injury Disaster Loan) is a loan program offered by the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) to provide financial assistance to businesses affected by disasters or economic downturns.
The consequences of an SBA EIDL loan fraud conviction can be severe, ranging from hefty fines to imprisonment. It is essential for individuals accused of these crimes to consult experienced attorneys specializing in white-collar defense like our team at Stechschulte Nell Law.
We have an in-depth understanding of complex financial offenses and can help the accused navigate through voluminous evidence and intricacies associated with SBA or PPP loans.
Hire an Attorney
It is crucial to remember that each case can have unique circumstances and demands tailored defense strategies accordingly. Seeking legal advice from an experienced attorney who specializes in white-collar crime can help individuals navigate through these complex allegations and build strong defenses against PPP loan fraud charges.
If you or someone you know has been charged with PPP loan fraud, contact us immediately. This is a serious matter and you need a certified criminal defense attorney who practices in the federal court system to best represent your interests.