The federal government has taken an aggressive approach against those it believes abuse pandemic related relief programs. To extend the federal government’s reach when it comes to enforcing these measures, President Joseph Biden recently agreed to two recent changes.
The changes are the result of two new laws, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Bank Fraud Enforcement Harmonization Act of 2022 and the COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) Fraud Statute of Limitations Act of 2022. Both extend the ability of the prosecution to move forward with fraud charges, either civil or criminal, related to these small business relief programs to 10 years.
The U.S. Small Business Administration’s Office of the Inspector General believes that this extension will serve as a valuable tool to help it move forward with prosecution against offenders in the future. The organization has stated that it estimates fraudsters have taken over $78 billion from the EIDL program and almost $5 billion from the PPP.
President Biden appears to agree. In addition to the extension of the statute of limitations to prosecute fraud related to these COVID-19 relief programs, President Biden also agreed to appoint a special prosecutor for COVID-19 pandemic relief fraud cases to the Justice Department.
Have the feds moved forward with prosecution for fraud schemes connected to the COVID-19 pandemic?
The government has already prosecuted hundreds of individuals for alleged fraud connected to the pandemic with the hopes that an aggressive approach would send the message that the feds will find those it believes abuses this system and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.
What exactly is PPP or EIDL fraud?
The government can choose to pursue charges against anyone who makes false statements on their loan applications or fraudulently applies for loan forgiveness. Any individual or business subject to investigation related to pandemic program related fraud is wise to take the matter seriously. The attorneys at Goldburd McCone are well versed in these types of cases and can work with you to build a defense to any allegations of wrongdoing.