If you have insider information about the misuse of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds or another form of PPP fraud, federal laws protect you from retaliation if you become a truth-teller and whistle blow on your employer. Some statutes even provide for monetary rewards for whistleblowing and bringing forward information about people trying to defraud the government.
A Greenville PPP fraud whistleblower lawyer could help you report the fraud, determine whether your employer has made a violation, guide you on the best way to blow the whistle, and push for you to get a reward via a writ of Qui Tam.
The government, through the Small Business Administration (SBA), introduced the Paycheck Protection Program on March 27, 2020, to curb the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on small businesses. The fund, which was in line with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, was designed to cover the expenses of small businesses for up to eight weeks. This includes coverage for payroll costs, utilities, rent, and payments for mortgage interest.
With the Act being very prevalent, however, unscrupulous individuals soon started submitting false and fraudulent PPP loan applications, which threatens to deny honest business owners an opportunity to keep their doors open. Therefore, the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Office of the Inspector General (OIG) have been aggressively pursuing and prosecuting PPP fraudsters in Greenville.
PPP fraud can occur in numerous ways. For instance, the DOJ recently initiated wire fraud and federal bank fraud charges against a Texas business owner who allegedly obtained over $1.6 million via fraudulent PPP loan applications. The entrepreneur falsely claimed to have employees and payroll expenses for two separate entities that he used to obtain PPP funds.
In another case, a Florida resident was charged with money laundering, lying to a financial institution, conspiracy, healthcare fraud, and wire fraud after federal investigators uncovered that he obtained PPP under false pretenses. The man, who also obtained other COVID-19 relief funds fraudulently, used false pretenses to charge his clients thousands of dollars for chiropractic services.
These two cases are just a few of dozens of ongoing investigations linked to PPP fraud. The common forms of PPP fraud that the DOJ and OIG are investigating include:
Any of these actions can be reported to the DOJ with the help of a whistleblower attorney in Greenville.
Federal law offers protection for any person who reports fraud and even provides compensation in some instances, which is calculated as a percentage of the recovered monetary amount. The False Claims Act (FCA) allows for a Qui Tam suit, making you eligible for a fraction of the government’s recovery after coming forward with intimate information about a fraudulent PPP loan.
Federal law also protects you against retaliatory acts when you are a whistleblower. This means that it is illegal for your employer to fire you or institute unwarranted disciplinary action. If you believe that your employer is retaliating against you as a result of your PPP fraud whistleblowing, an attorney may be able to help.
At Bill Nettles, Attorney at Law, we know that you take a significant risk when you become a whistleblower. An attorney could help ensure that you get sufficient protection for your honesty and integrity. Whether you want to come forward against your employer or any other person or entity that you know is committing PPP fraud, Bill Nettles is ready to help.
Contact a Greenville PPP fraud whistleblower lawyer today to better understand how you can get started with this process.