Although the federal government traditionally backs home loans and grants for college educations, disaster relief loans have been riddled with fraud since the onset of Covid. A federal watchdog report estimates that of the $1.2 trillion the Small Business Administration (SBA) distributed during Covid, more than $200 billion may have been stolen.
The Inspector General’s Office continues to investigate and prosecute fraud, much of it with help from a whistleblower who provides heroic service to the nation and taxpayers by reporting wrongdoers who fraudulently applied for or spent the funds. Ultimately, taxpayers’ money funds these programs, and recouping that money is a government priority. When you have special knowledge of a person or entity that has deceived the government, a Greenville government loan fraud whistleblower lawyer could walk you through the qui tam process.
Under the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, small business borrowers received low-interest money at fixed rates to offset operating costs during shutdowns forced by Covid. The Paycheck Protection Program, under the CARES Act, offered small businesses, non-profit organizations, independent contractors, veterans’ organizations, and sole proprietors loans to hire back employees laid off due to Covid. Employers could use the money to pay up to eight weeks of payroll, benefits, commercial rent, utilities, and mortgage interest. With conditions, these loans were eligible for forgiveness. When an employer commits fraud related to these government loans, a whistleblower lawyer in Greenville could determine the next steps to take.
The estimated $200 billion stolen represents 17 percent of the total loan amount disbursed by the SBA in the two loan programs. The Inspector General’s Office has indicted over 1,000 alleged fraudsters, made over 800 arrests, and convicted 529 people. The government has recouped about $30 billion in stolen funds. The fraudulent activity included:
Employees who were to benefit from these loans can instigate lawsuits, called qui tam actions, against employers they know pilfered funds. They must have evidence of wrongdoing and should seek help from a government loan fraud whistleblower attorney in Greenville.
Individuals file qui tam lawsuits on behalf of the government. Whistleblowers with a unique position to have information about fraud in government loan programs generally file these suits with the assistance of attorneys who practice in this area. They first gather evidence against the suspected fraudster, including financial records, memos, email chains, and private recordings between the whistleblower and the target.
Sanctioned by the False Claims Act, a whistleblower, also known as a relator, enlists the help of a skilled attorney to file a complaint in federal court and then forward a copy to the government. The government may choose to pursue the lawsuit, but if it declines, the relator can still follow through on behalf of the government. Either way, the relator is entitled to between 15 and 30 percent of funds recovered from the defendant.
The False Claims Act also protects whistleblowers from retaliation. Targets cannot harass, intimidate, or fire a whistleblower, and if they do anyway, whistleblowers can sue for reinstatement and a generous settlement. A government loan fraud whistleblower attorney in Greenville could protect relators from retaliation.
You may have evidence that your employer made false claims to receive a government loan or received one and then spent the money in an unauthorized way. If so, you are doing your fellow taxpayers a service by helping recoup some of the $200 billion stolen under the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program.
The False Claims Act encourages and protects whistleblowers. They are even paid for their patriotic efforts. When you wish to join the ranks of those who hold others accountable for financial crimes against the government, call us. Our experienced attorneys can assist you as you collect evidence and file a qui tam lawsuit. We can protect you if your employer retaliates and ensure you receive your portion of the recovered funds. Contact a Greenville government loan fraud whistleblower lawyer today.