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Even though investigators and prosecutors are sworn to assume a person is innocent until proven guilty in a court of law, that does not always happen. In fact, in regards to PPP loans, the federal government is acting as though all recipients are guilty of fraud, and thus is taking a very hardline approach to these cases. Especially troubling for many business owners is having other transactions that occurred shortly following their PPP loan approval carefully scrutinized by the government. Since there have been reports of people obtaining PPP loans and then using the funds for luxury vacations and other items, government agents are examining such things as recent purchases of cars, homes, and other expensive items in an effort to uncover fraud. If recent purchases you made in a perfectly legal manner are being used against you by the federal government, consult PPP loan fraud lawyers for help in resolving the matter.
Lack of Communication
While the federal government had the right idea in regards to helping businesses avoid bankruptcy during the pandemic, the actual rollout of the PPP left much to be desired. From a lack of communication between the government and lenders, rules and regulations that lacked specificity, and a loan distribution system that was not technologically-advanced, all this added up to confusion for companies and lenders. As a result, there is little doubt many mistakes were made along the way in terms of who was given funding. However, this does not mean companies necessarily set out to commit fraud against the federal government. Thus, if you made a mistake on your loan application or perhaps used the funds you received for expenses that were considered ineligible for such funding, don’t let the federal government treat you like a criminal. By hiring a PPP loan fraud lawyer upon learning of an investigation or fraud charges against you, you can get ahead of the situation and let your lawyer plan a sound legal strategy.
Who Says I Committed Fraud?
If you are wondering who may have led the federal government to think you may have set out to commit fraud, you likely have your local bank where you got your loan to thank for this. As the Treasury Department has continued looking into PPP loan fraud, it has relied greatly on banks and other lenders to tip them off as to which loan recipients should be closely scrutinized. In essence, the lenders are trying to take the blame currently on themselves and shift it to business owners who were struggling to survive at the time. However, it is important to remember that lenders had a responsibility to understand the PPP loan rules when accepting applications. Therefore, if you made a mistake on your loan application, it was the duty of the lender to inform you of this, explain the rules to you, and allow you to correct the mistake. If you are now being made out as the fall guy for a bank’s mistake, don’t let it happen. Once you contact and hire PPP loan fraud lawyers, they can get to work turning the legal tide in your favor.
The Problem of Multiple Loans
While the Treasury Department is investigating many different examples of what it believes could be PPP loan fraud, the one they are focusing on most appears to be the idea that some companies received loans from many different lenders at the same time. Referred to as loan stacking, it is a practice considered illegal and can carry with it serious consequences. Yet in many cases where this happened, business owners only faced this situation because they submitted multiple applications to different lenders, simply hoping one would be approved. In addition, since there was so much confusion surrounding the PPP, most businesses had little if any idea what was or was not allowed by law. If you did receive multiple loans and now have federal prosecutors ready to charge you with fraud and threatening you with a long prison sentence, don’t let yourself panic. Rather, beat the federal government at its own game and hire an experienced PPP loan fraud lawyer who can negotiate with prosecutors to get the charges against you reduced or possibly dropped.
In any situation where you have federal agents or prosecutors staring you in the face, always make sure you do whatever is needed to ensure your legal rights are protected at every turn. When facing loan fraud allegations, this means scheduling a meeting with a PPP loan fraud lawyer you can trust.