Orlando PPP Fraud Lawyer
As the coronavirus pandemic raged nationwide, banks generously made Paycheck Protection Program loans under the auspices of the federal government. The early days of the pandemic are long gone, but the fallout remains. In this case, the fallout involves aggressive Department of Justice prosecution of suspected PPP fraud. There is a stronger-than-normal public punishment element in these matters. As far as DOJ bureaucrats are concerned, PPP fraudsters not only took advantage of banks and the federal government. They also prevented other needy businesses from obtaining relief.
In contrast, the diligent Orlando PPP fraud lawyers at the O’Mara Law Group do not do anything quickly or impulsively. Instead, our professional team meticulously reviews your case. Then, we offer you solid legal advice about your options. Then, when the case goes to court, we never stop fighting for you. At every phase, we leave no stone unturned when it comes to protecting your legal rights.
Elements of the Offense
Although lawmakers hurriedly created the PPP program as part of the sprawling CARES Act, the loan program still has very specific requirements. Violating any one of these rules could lead to fraud charges, since as mentioned, prosecutors are anxious to get skins on the wall in this situation. Some of the most common violations we see include:
- Making False Statements: To get the largest possible loan, many unscrupulous applicants lied about the number of employees, size of their payrolls, or other such material information. However, there’s a difference between intentionally making a false statement and unintentionally making an inaccurate statement.
- Loan Stacking: Because of the hurried rollout, the government did not supervise some parts of the PPP loan execution very well. Some people took advantage of this lack of oversight and illegally applied at several different banks. However, in many cases, Bank A said “maybe” so the business owner applied at Bank B. Once again, that approach is probably not intentional.
- Failure to Cooperate with Investigations: This behavior could lead to an independent PPP fraud case. In these cases, government prosecutors do not need to prove fraud. Instead, they only need to prove that the business owner refused to cooperate with document requests or other investigation requirements.
Essentially, loan fraud is knowingly making a false statement about a material fact with the intention of making money at the expense of another person or entity.
Like other fraud cases, PPP fraud charges could lead to a host of other charges, mostly mail or wire fraud, conspiracy, and bank fraud. Mail and wire fraud is sending fraudulent documents through the mail or via electronic transfer. Conspiracy is basically two or more people coming together with the intent to defraud another person or entity, whether or not that person or entity loses money. Bank fraud is making a false statement to a financial institution.
What You Should Do if Investigators Ask Questions
The first thing you should do, and the best thing you can do, is contact an Orlando PPP fraud lawyer. Our legal team then interviews accountants and other professionals who were involved in the loan process, evaluates your case for possible legal defenses, and works with outside professionals, like forensic accountants.
Business owners can also help themselves in these situations. A proactive approach is the best way to steer these matters from criminal prosecutions to civil matters. Gather all relevant documents, do not dispose of any possible evidence, even if such disposal is routine, and let your employees know that if they report suspicious activity, there will be no retaliation.
Connect with a Zealous Orange County Lawyer
Fraud accusations do not necessarily lead to fraud convictions. For a confidential consultation with an experienced PPP fraud attorney in Orlando, contact the O’Mara Law Group, Attorneys at Law. Convenient payment plans are available.