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Federal Criminal Defense Lawyers for PPP Loan Fraud Charges

Have you recently received a PPP loan criminal target letter from the Department of Justice, Internal Revenue Service, or United States Attorney's Office? Or have you or a loved one been charged with PPP Loan Fraud by a grand jury indictment? Attorney Kensley Barrett leads the Marin, Barrett, and Murphy Law Firm's team of Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys, providing skilled and experienced federal criminal defense legal representation on PPP Loan Fraud charges nationwide. Our Firm is already representing clients charged with similar federal fraud offenses and has the legal expertise to help you navigate extremely serious federal criminal charges. Speak with Attorney Kensley Barrett, who heads our team of federal criminal defense attorneys handling PPP Loan Fraud charges 24/7 at 888-348-2735.

PPP Loan Fraud Defense Lawyers

Federal criminal charges of PPP Loan Fraud are currently being prosecuted by the United States Department of Justice as violations of various federal statutes, including wire fraud, bank fraud, and making false statements to financial institutions. The penalties for these violations include imprisonment for up to 30 years and substantial fines, reflecting the severity of the offense and the amount of fraud involved. Additionally, the court may order the defendant to pay restitution to the government for the losses incurred due to the fraudulent claims. The SBA and other federal agencies have increased scrutiny and audits of PPP loan recipients, leading to a surge in investigations and prosecutions. The exact penalties depend on the specifics of the case, such as the amount of money involved in the fraud and whether the individual has prior convictions.

Given the severe penalties and complexities involved in cases of PPP Loan Fraud, it is crucial to hire an experienced federal criminal defense attorney as soon as possible. The legal landscape surrounding federal charges is intricate, and having a seasoned attorney can make a significant difference in the outcome of your case. At Marin, Barrett, and Murphy Law Firm, our team of Federal Criminal Defense Attorneys is well-equipped to defend you against PPP Loan Fraud charges, ensuring your rights are protected throughout the legal process. Don't face these serious federal charges alone—speak with a member of our federal criminal defense attorney team 24/7 at 888-348-2735.

Understanding PPP Loan Fraud

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was introduced as part of the CARES Act to help businesses retain employees and cover essential operational costs during the economic hardships brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic. It offered substantial financial support to qualifying businesses, but with these benefits came a heightened risk of fraud allegations. Nationwide, businesses need to be aware of what constitutes PPP Loan Fraud, the key features of the program, eligibility criteria, and how to defend against potential fraud charges.

What Is PPP Loan Fraud?

PPP Loan Fraud occurs when businesses intentionally misrepresent information to qualify for the loan. This can involve:

  • Falsifying Eligibility: Claiming the loan for periods when the business did not meet the eligibility criteria.
  • Inflating Payroll Costs: Overstating employee wages or the number of employees to increase the loan amount.
  • Misuse of Funds: Using the loan proceeds for non-qualifying expenses.
  • Duplicate Claims: Submitting claims for the same employees under multiple programs or entities.

Key Features of the PPP Program

Understanding the PPP program's features is crucial for compliance and defense against fraud allegations:

  • Eligibility Periods: The PPP was available for specific periods during 2020 and 2021. Businesses needed to demonstrate a significant decline in gross receipts or full or partial suspension of operations due to government orders.
  • Loan Amount: The loan amount was based on payroll costs and could cover up to 2.5 times the average monthly payroll costs, with a maximum cap.
  • Forgiveness Criteria: Loans could be forgiven if used for qualifying expenses such as payroll costs, rent, utilities, and mortgage interest within a specified period.

PPP Eligibility Criteria for Businesses

Businesses needed to meet specific criteria to qualify for the PPP:

  • Employee Retention: Maintaining employment levels and wages as specified in the loan terms.
  • Operational Impact: Demonstrating an adverse impact on operations due to the pandemic.
  • Qualified Expenses: Using loan proceeds for designated expenses to be eligible for loan forgiveness.

Fraud Concerns and Legal Implications

As the PPP program attracted scrutiny from the SBA and other federal agencies, fraudulent claims can lead to severe consequences, including:

  • Fines and Penalties: Significant financial penalties for improper claims.
  • Repayment of Loans: Requirement to repay any fraudulently obtained loans.
  • Criminal Charges: Potential for criminal charges leading to imprisonment.

Defending Against PPP Loan Fraud Allegations

If you are an individual or business facing PPP Loan Fraud allegations, a robust defense strategy is essential. Here are key elements of a defense:

  1. Good Faith Compliance: Demonstrating that the business made a good faith effort to comply with the complex and evolving guidelines of the PPP program. This includes showing documentation and records that support their understanding and interpretation of the rules.

  2. Lack of Intent: Arguing that any discrepancies or errors in the PPP loan application were unintentional and not done with fraudulent intent. Mistakes in navigating the intricate regulations should not automatically lead to criminal liability.

  3. Adequate Documentation: Providing thorough and accurate records to substantiate the eligibility and amounts claimed. Proper documentation can refute allegations of false claims or misrepresentations.

  4. Legal Interpretations: Arguing that the legal interpretations and guidance at the time were ambiguous or unclear, leading to unintentional errors. An attorney can demonstrate that the client's actions were reasonable given the information available at the time.

  5. Proportional Penalties: If errors are acknowledged, arguing for proportional penalties rather than severe criminal charges. Highlighting the client's otherwise good compliance history and cooperation during the investigation can mitigate the severity of penalties.

Why You Need an Experienced PPP Loan Fraud Defense Lawyer

PPP Loan Fraud cases are complex, requiring a deep understanding of both tax law and criminal defense. An experienced lawyer can:

  • Analyze Your Case: Assess the strengths and weaknesses of the allegations against you.
  • Develop a Defense Strategy: Craft a tailored defense strategy based on the specifics of your case.
  • Negotiate with Authorities: Work with federal and state authorities to potentially reduce charges or penalties.
  • Represent You in Court: Provide robust representation should your case go to trial.

Facing Federal PPP Loan Fraud charges is an extremely serious matter that requires immediate and skilled legal intervention. By understanding the nature of the charges, potential consequences, and available defenses, individuals and businesses can take the necessary steps to protect their interests. Contact a qualified Federal PPP Loan Fraud defense lawyer to ensure you receive the best possible outcome in your case.

Contact the Marin, Barrett, and Murphy Law Firm

If you are under investigation or facing charges brought by the United States Attorney, the Internal Revenue Service, or the Department of Justice related to PPP Loan Fraud anywhere in the nation, contact our law office today for a confidential consultation. The seasoned federal defense attorneys at the Marin, Barrett, and Murphy Law Firm will meet with you to confidentially discuss the details of your case and explore any legal or constitutional defenses available. Contact us today at 888-348-2735 for a no-obligation Federal PPP Loan Fraud defense strategy session.

Kensley Barrett

Our law firm was founded on the belief that working with us is more than just hiring a lawyer. Working with us will bring you peace of mind and also allow you to continue with your regular life while we attend to your legal matters. Our vast experience means that it allows us to excel in both aggressively representing your interests and generating the best possible result for you.