In the midst of the pandemic, the Small Business Association began administering the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). The intent was to provide eligible businesses support during the difficult and uncertain pandemic. Funding available through the program was only an option for certain borrowers and certain amounts were forgivable under certain circumstances. Unfortunately, some businesses and individuals (as with many government programs) sought to take advantage of the funds implicating the False Claims Act (FCA). The Department of Justice reports over 100 defendants have been charged with crimes related to PPP fraud as of summer 2021. Uncovering and investigating these frauds can sometimes take years, we expect to see many additional borrowers and lenders face additional FCA risk in the future.
In claims arising under the False Claims Act, the relator (individual with the information) can receive between 15-25% of the Government's settlement. This is intended to incentivize individuals with information to bring that information forward so the Government can investigate and prosecute these wrongdoings. The attorneys at Keilty Bonadio are available to discuss if you believe you have information about a fraudulent scheme targeted at funds intended for struggling businesses.