by Nicholas Ballasy at Just the News
The Small Business Administration is not taking action against its partner lenders that issued billions of dollars in fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program forgivable loans, Just the News has learned.
Congress appropriated almost $1 trillion in forgivable PPP loans to assist businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic. Approximately 15% of the $961 billion is projected to have been obtained fraudulently, according to a study.
A House of Representatives panel estimated that $84 billion in PPP funds was issued fraudulently.
Four individuals in Fort Bend County, Texas, for example, were charged recently in a scheme that resulted in fraudulently obtaining $35 million in PPP loans.
An Atlanta woman was sentenced this week for fraud related to PPP loans worth $6 million. The financial institution that issued at least one of the fraudulent loans to the individual was Celtic Bank Corporation, which is one of the largest SBA lenders in the nation. According to the Department of Justice, the offender “submitted six false and fraudulent PPP loan applications between April 27, 2020 and June 17, 2020. The amounts requested in the six PPP loans totaled $7,943,591.50, of which $6,017,066.50 was disbursed.”
The SBA’s local partner lenders were tasked with vetting the loan applicants and verifying the information provided about their businesses to secure the loan. The SBA would then place final approval on the loan application before the funds were transferred to the individual. The funds had to be used for eligible expenses such as salaries and benefits in order to be forgiven.
According to the SBA, lenders were paid 5% for originating loans under $350,000, 3% for loans above $350,000 and 1% for loans above $2 million.
Just the News asked the SBA if the agency is taking direct action against…Continue Reading