The United States government offers a surprising variety of loan options. These can help both individuals and companies. Their utility can help people to obtain an education, buy a home, or start a business.
Especially with the rise of COVID-19, many people and organizations are under increased financial stress. This may tempt them to obtain a loan for which they are not qualified or to provide false information on a loan application. Either example is a violation of federal law.
A Columbia government loan fraud whistleblower lawyer could help people to come forward with information about improper loan activity. This can include forming an initial complaint as well as requesting rewards that may result from a successful investigation.
Obtaining a loan from the federal government requires parties to pass through two levels of eligibility. The first depends on the party’s identity. For example, only American citizens and legal resident aliens can apply for a student loan. Falsely stating one’s eligibility for a loan counts as fraud.
The second level determines a party’s eligibility according to the information that they provide on a loan application. Common instances of fraud can be overstating one’s income on a home loan application or misstating the number of employees a company has.
These actions all violate the False Claims Act. According to 31 United States Code § 3729, it is illegal to knowingly provide any false data to the government for the purpose of obtaining payment. This includes information to obtain a loan. A Columbia government loan fraud whistleblower attorney could provide more information about the False Claims Act and why loan fraud violates federal law.
They can also help to provide peace of mind. It is understandable that parties may hesitate to come forward out of fear of retaliation. Thankfully, any form of retaliation against a whistleblower is illegal, and parties who suffer this punishment have a cause of action to demand compensation in court.
The regulatory agencies that enforce the False Claims Act and other laws lack the resources to properly investigate every incident of fraud. Due to this, they often rely on tips from whistleblowers to determine whether an investigation is necessary.
Any person can serve as a whistleblower. The government agencies encourage these people to come forward. However, for some parties, there is a financial incentive to reporting fraud. By including a writ of Qui Tam along with a whistleblower report, parties may be eligible to receive between 15 and 25 percent of the funds that the government recovers in an investigation. However, people who are members of law enforcement, have a duty to report wrongdoing under the law, or who are suspects in a criminal investigation tied to the report are ineligible to collect these rewards.
Parties filing fraudulent claims for payment against the United States government are surprisingly common. Perhaps no examples are so numerous as those that attempt to gain funds via loan under false pretenses. Parties seeking loans must be eligible upon a first look and must provide accurate data to determine their final eligibility.
Individuals and companies that provide this false data violate the False Claims Act. If you believe that you are a witness to these fraudulent acts, you can blow the whistle with the appropriate government regulatory agency. Not only could this result in the conviction of wrongdoers, but it may also result in you receiving a substantial reward. Contact a Columbia government loan fraud lawyer today to learn more.