Daytona Beach PPP Fraud Lawyer
The wake of the COVID-19 pandemic left many business owners in Florida and across the US in dire financial straits, and the impact on the nation was devastating during the first few weeks of lockdowns. Lawmakers enacted the CARES Act as a way to boost the economy, and the loans secured under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) were instrumental in achieving this goal. Unfortunately, the process for obtaining funds left the door open for fraudulent schemes. The CARES Fraud Section of the US Department of Justice was quick to crack down on PPP fraud, make arrests, and pursue indictments.
If you have been charged with PPP fraud, it is critical to retain knowledgeable legal counsel right away for assistance in fighting the allegations. Police may have been investigating your activities and gathering evidence for some time, but our team at O’Mara Law Group will level the playing field with solid defense tactics. Please contact our firm to schedule a consultation with a Daytona Beach PPP fraud lawyer today, though a legal summary may also be useful.
The Basics of PPP Fraud Laws
The basic scheme for defrauding the federal PPP involves making false representations to the Small Business Administration (SBA) to gain access to loan funds. The aim of PPP was to help companies keep their employees on the payroll and earning money during the COVID-19 crisis, essentially earmarking the funds to pay worker salaries. Therefore, the more employees businesses have on staff, the more they can apply for through the PPP. For example, the most common tactics for furthering illicit PPP schemes involve:
- Overstating the number of employees for purposes of taxes, workers’ compensation, and unemployment;
- Misclassifying independent contractors as employees;
- Creating false payroll records and writing bogus pay checks; and
- Establishing a structure of “ghost” or defunct companies for payroll misconduct.
Because of the methods used to submit applications for PPP loans, many of those charged with PPP fraud will also face charges of mail or wire fraud as well.
Take Action in Light of the Penalties for PPP Fraud
Making false statements to the SBA is punishable by up to 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine, or both. As such, it is critical to consult with a Daytona Beach PPP fraud lawyer from the moment you realize you are being investigated. There are also a few tasks you can undertake to support the efforts of the team at O’Mara Law Group, such as:
- Do not answer police questions or agree to an interview, even if you believe you are innocent.
- Refuse any search of your home, business, or other personal matters, unless police have a warrant.
- Never resist arrest, which could lead to additional charges.
You Can Rely on a Daytona Beach PPP Fraud Attorney for Legal Help
As a final To-Do after being arrested, please contact O’Mara Law Group by calling 407-634-6604 or via our website. We can schedule a consultation with a skilled Daytona Beach PPP fraud lawyer who can review your circumstances and advise you on defense options.