AGs Office announces more than 50 arrests connected to Paycheck Protection Program fraud, LSU WR Malik Nabers arrested in New Orleans; prosecutors refuse to charge with condition, Mini workshop to bust myths surrounding sexual health, Experts give tips to prepare for daylight saving time, Health Minute: First at-home flu and COVID test authorized. The line is staffed 24/7. He warned that increased loan volume, loan amounts, and expedited loan processing timeframes may make it more difficult for SBA to identity red flags in loan applications. The inspector general called for the agency to put in place sufficient controls, but the agency did not heed the watchdogs warnings at that time. Nearly 11.5 million people filed applications, resulting in more than $792 billion worth of loans. The Department of Justice confirms they are looking into reports of PPP fraud across the nation. Audrey Strauss, the Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, Amaleka McCall-Brathwaite, Eastern Region Special Agent-in-Charge of the Office of the Inspector General of the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA-OIG), William F. Sweeney Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Jonathan D. Larsen, Special Agent in Charge of the New York Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI), announced today the arrests of NGOC MANH NGUYEN, a/k/a Peter Nguyen, VICTORIA DIEUY HO, a/k/a Vicky Ho, and DAT TAT HO for a fraudulent scheme to obtain over $13 million in Government-guaranteed loans designed to provide relief to small businesses during the novel coronavirus/COVID-19 pandemic. Complaints can also be filed online here. Click on a company's name to see additional loan details. The largest loan paid out was $20,833. EVERY advertised under various aliases on Facebook to recruit individuals to obtain money from the PPP program. Public Service Announcement on Sexual Assault in Public Housing. I urge anyone who believes he or she is a victim of this type of fraud to report it to the National Center for Disaster Fraud," said US Attorney Brandon Fremin. The SBA has very broad rules, very, very large leeway on what the lender had to request from the bar to get that guarantee secure, said the SBA Louisiana District Director Michael Ricks. Click on a company's name to see additional loan details. But according to the Justice Department, neither company paid anywhere near the purported amounts and had few if any employees. Kindambu pleaded guilty in January. To me, its like looting after a hurricane. In Louisiana, a federal grand jury recently indicted a Plaquemine woman named Lestreonia Rodrigue on fraud charges. VICTORIA HO will be presented tomorrow in Manhattan federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn. To disguise the fraud, family members moved the proceeds through several bank accounts held in different names, according to the Justice Department. $12.2B TOTAL LOAN AMOUNT. All rights reserved. The PPP was developed to ease the pain of COVID-19 economic restraints on working Americans. However, a check of public records for business licenses with the Secretary of State office revealed no active business licenses for those eight individuals. The Veterans Administration, Office of the Inspector General, is an active member of the PRAC Fraud Task Force. Sah submitted falsified tax and payroll documentation in which he claimed to have numerous employees and hundreds of thousands of dollars in payroll expenses, according to a Justice Department press release, but none of the businesses he sought loans for had any employees. In addition to helping head off further fraud, conducting robust data analysis could also help the Small Business Administration assess how well its relief programs are reaching small businesses in underserved communities, such as those owned by people of color. Mr. Santemore's pleaded guilty on April 27, 2022, and was sentenced on July 25, 2022 but the terms of his sentence are under seal. Thats more than 10 times the fraud recoveries five years after the 2009 stimulus became law. When they believe they have unearthed sufficient evidence to allege the government has been defrauded, these individuals file qui tam lawsuits, Grossman said. Pursuant to the CARES Act, the amount of PPP funds a business is eligible to receive is determined by the number of employees employed by the business and their average payroll costs. $56,095 AVERAGE PPP LOAN. The Federal Trade Commission wrote in February that, Last year, we received 99,650 reports of fraud involving business or personal loans, compared with 43,920 reports in 2019, before the pandemic began. That story of corruption inside SBA has been overshadowed by other criminal allegations against Greenberg, notably child sex trafficking charges, and a scandal that might bring down a member of Congress. The Justice Department brought civil claims against the company under both the False Claims Act and Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act. Another large identity theft case led to charges against Jeremie Saintvil of Delray Beach, Florida in March. Each loan paid out was guaranteed using taxpayer money. In the three decades since the laws passage, there have been only six whistleblower settlements involving FIRREA, yielding $19.9 billion in recoveries, but only $9.3 million in rewards to whistleblowers, according to Whistleblower Network News. A vast number of referrals to the Small Business Administrations (SBA) Office of Inspector General involve complaints of identity theft, particularly related to the Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program. The defendants were arrested this morning. The rebates, funded by the CARES Act, are subject to Louisiana state income tax. OIG and its law enforcement partners will relentlessly pursue fraudsters and bring them to justice. Lenders approved that amount for eight people, seven of whom got checks. Sah, who pleaded guilty on March 24, used the funds to buy a Bentley convertible and multiple homes, among other things. When we receive complaints on PPP and EIDL fraud, we immediately coordinate with the Department of Justice, to see what their interest is in the case. If convicted, EVERY faces a maximum penalty of twenty (20) years, followed by a term of supervised release for up to three (3) years, a fine up to $250,000.00, or twice the gross gain to the defendant, or twice the gross loss to any victim, and a $100.00 mandatory special assessment fee, per count. According to the allegations contained in the Complaint[1] unsealed today in Manhattan federal court: The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a federal law enacted on March 29, 2020, designed to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of Americans who are suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. mike vernon royal household; are there snakes in gran canaria; shooting in laurel, md yesterday. Given the focus of the PPP to support employees during the COVID-19 pandemic, the Robinson Bradshaw firm wrote last May, it is easy to imagine how a dissatisfied employee observing imperfect business conduct in securing a PPP loan or applying loan proceeds could use that insider information to bring a qui tam action under the FCA.. Help us crowdsource fraud detection in the PPP program! Ryan Summers is a research fellow for POGO. Please click here for further information. Summary of PPP Loans in Louisiana. Director for the Louisiana SBA District Office Michael Ricks said while that information may raise some red flags on the surface, he explained that not complying with an industrys licensing requirements does not necessarily disqualify someone from being eligible for a PPP loan. And I, I think we ought to prosecute every single one of them to the full extent of the law, said Kennedy. Using a telemarketing scheme called My Buddy Loans, the telemarketing scheme exploited those seeking assistance during the COVID pandemic, including many who were over the age of 55, according to a Small Business Administration inspector general agent quoted in a Justice Department press release. If Congress amends the underutilized Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act, efforts by inspectors general to fight fraud in pandemic related spending would be enhanced, according to Horowitzs testimony. According to court records, Amir Aqeel and several others in the Houston area allegedly created fake tax and payroll documentation in exchange for large kickbacks for referring others into the scheme that involved 12 corporate entities. According to the MITRE Corporation, a mismatched zip code or insufficient award description doesnt seem particularly egregious. Many believe a high percentage of these grants were stolen, but some federal prosecutors with heavy caseloads may find it hard to justify He said that lenders have been extremely cooperative during investigations and their suspicious activity reports have been very useful.. Those who suspect PPP fraud or may have been a victim of such fraud should contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline at 866-720-5721. UNION VETERINARY CLINIC, INC. 65780. As of this month, weve seized over $580 million from over 23,000 fraudulent EIDL loans.. The Department of Justice, and in particular my office here in the Middle District of Louisiana, is committed to investigating and prosecuting those who abuse the system for personal gain and will use every resource at our disposal to protect those federal dollars and the businesses they are intended to help. In one of the most complex cases to emerge since POGOs original analysis, at least seven individuals were indicted in a scheme that allegedly involved over 80 applications seeking a total of $30 million in Paycheck Protection Program loans. Seven of the approved loans were processed by Cross River Bank, a top Paycheck Protection Program lender that closely allied itself with financial technology firms. Two people were approved for that amount twice, and one of those people got paid twice. April 15, 2021. Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justices National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form. 3 Defendants Arrested For Over $13 Million Fraud Scheme To Obtain Loans Intended To Help Small Businesses During COVID-19 Pandemic Three Family Members Arrested for Misrepresenting Employee Payroll Figures to Receive COVID-19 Loan Funds for Chain of Family-Owned Nail Salons in New York Metropolitan Area and Other Businesses Generally, cases where there is any substantial gray areasuch as a lack of unambiguous evidence of fraud or when it wasnt clear what a government rule requiredare far more likely to lead to civil enforcement, or to no enforcement. The PPP loan forgiveness is not subject to Louisiana state income tax. Does something look fishy to you? The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) established by the CARES Act, provides small businesses with funding for payroll costs, mortgage interest, rent, and utilities. ) or https:// means youve safely connected to the .gov website. An internal analysis last fall by the Small Business Administration identified over 2 million approved PPP loan guarantees worth some $189 billion that were potentially not in compliance with the law, though it may turn out that many of those loans were not fraudulent. Even if the debt is cleared, the loans can end up wreaking havoc on individuals and businesses credit scores. Funds disseminated through this program are subject to Louisiana state income tax. But the government could have implemented these safeguards from the beginning, which may have prevented significant levels of apparent fraud in the program. The Small Business Administrations Office of Inspector General found a significant gap in the agencys data on underserved markets, such as ethnicity, veteran status, and women-owned businesses. You can search the SBA's entire PPP loan data below. 8851 center dr la mesa, ca 91942; chamberlain graduation 2023; fun sober things to do on a friday night. The Justice Department has accused numerous defendants of using Paycheck Protection Program loans for unlawful purposes, such as purchasing private planes, sports cars, and taking pricey trips to Las Vegas casinos. According to a court filing signed by a Secret Service agent, a family of four was behind a scheme The PPP loans are forgivable under certain conditions and the loan forgiveness is not taxable income for federal tax purposes. Louisiana. Normally, the office of inspector general receives between 700 and 800 hotline complaints or tips a year. The maximum potential sentences are prescribed by Congress and are provided here for informational purposes only, as any sentencing of the defendants will be determined by the judge. Secure .gov websites use HTTPS In July, banks filed nearly seven times the average number of suspicious activity reports. Giving back to the community through a variety of venues & initiatives. As far as the state of Louisiana is concerned, there is no requirement that a sole proprietor have a specific license at the state, said Ricks. They determined that a lot of the folks that they have as subjects of their investigations in HHS OIG [for Medicare and Medicaid fraud], were also committing PPP and EIDL fraud, Grossman said. Since last October, when POGO published a report examining trends in Paycheck Protection Program loan fraud at the programs six-month mark, several eye-popping cases of alleged fraud have emerged. These are not simple or easy cases to investigate and charge, then-acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Rabbitt said at a press conference last September. According to the Justice Department, Didier Kindambu obtained two loans by creating fraudulent payroll documentation for each business.. The DOJ says falsified tax records were submitted and in some cases, stolen personal information was also used in these attempts to defraud the PPP. More than 1,400 institutions had filed SARs related to PPP, and more than 900 institutions had filed SARs related to EIDL.. 9,060 loans. Not all those loans were necessarily fraudulently obtained. Its up to the SBA and the Justice Department to go after anyone caught stealing PPP money. Small Business Administration management flagged loans for at least one of 35 reasons, such as the recipient was created after the cutoff date of February 15, 2020, or the recipients owner had a criminal record, potentially rendering the recipient ineligible. Greenbergs insider was a loan officer who began working for the agency in May 2020. The Department of Justice (DOJ) says as of Aug. 8, more than 5.2 million forgivable loans have been approved, at a total of more than $525 billion. If youre going to steal money, finite resources from people who need them, then, by God, were going to prosecute you.. This map is your interactive guide to confirmed cases, recoveries and deaths from the coronavirus around the state, nation and world. BATON ROUGE, La. Not all the blame can be placed at the Small Business Administrations feet. Find out how you can get involved and stay up to date with our work. The Department of Justice says in Feb. 2021, Gray created a scheme to defraud a lender and the United States, through the Small Business Administration, by filing false applications for PPP. The Justice Department has brought charges in at least 56 cases for alleged Paycheck Protection Program fraud, according to a POGO review detailing trends in these first cases. Created under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the Paycheck Protection Program has lent out $755 billion to businesses as of April 11. 2020 Louisiana Individual Income Tax returns and payments are due Monday, May 17, 2021. Both the outgoing Trump administration and the Biden administration appear to have learned lessons from the fraud that occurred in 2020. Alabama Arkansas Arizona California Colorado Florida Georgia Idaho Illinois Indiana Iowa Kentucky Kansas Louisiana Maine Maryland Michigan Minnesota Missouri Mississippi Montana Nebraska Nevada New Hampshire New Jersey New Mexico North Carolina Oklahoma . Allegedly misrepresenting the number of employees on their payroll to obtain the funding, they deposited this money into accounts controlled solely by them. NGUYEN and DAT HO will be presented in United States District Court for the Eastern District of New York in connection with these and other unrelated charges. The SBA Employee would and did use her access to the SBAs computer systems and her access to EIDLs to manipulate the status of EIDLs to trigger the system to extend funding for EIDLs submitted for the benefit for Joel Micah Greenberg, the indictment alleges. The prosecution of this case is being handled by the Offices Complex Frauds and Cybercrime Unit. The scandal is whats legal, not whats illegal.. However, both Kennedy and Ricks say the good the program did far outweigh any possible fraud. 61000. According to Grossman, the Small Business Administration watchdog official, all of our ongoing investigations involve individual borrowers rather than lenders. The Small Business Administration has sent 1.34 million referrals related to Economic Injury Disaster loans to its office of inspector general, which is tackling these and Paycheck Protection Program fraud cases in coordination with a host of other law enforcement agencies. Federal investigators cannot comment on active investigations or give an estimate on how much fraud may have occurred through federal pandemic relief programs, but a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorneys Office of the Middle District of Louisiana confirms there were fraudulent applications submitted in Louisiana through several relief programs including the PPP. If approved, the SBA pays the lender back using federal funds. Data analysts at the inspector generals office have been combing through Paycheck Protection Program and Economic Injury Disaster loan data to look for markers of potential fraud, such as repeat loan applicants from the same physical addresses, Grossman told POGO. 6 AVG COMPANY SIZE. Applicants fraudulently obtained at least $16 million, per the Justice Department. Louisiana has a total of 217,332 businesses that received Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans from the Small Business Administration. The PPP loans are forgivable under certain conditions and the loan forgiveness is not taxable income for federal tax purposes. Banks and other lenders have been filing a huge number of suspicious activity reports to the Treasury Departments Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (better known as FinCEN) related to the Paycheck Protection Program and the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program. Report it to the Small Business Administrations with just a few clicks. Dr. James Hobley: When should you be screened for colon cancer? The Department of Justice (DOJ) says as of Aug. 8, more than 5.2 million forgivable loans have been approved, at a total of more than $525 billion. Senator Kennedy admits the program may have had some holes in it, due to how quickly it was rolled out, and the loan program has been updated many times to expand eligibility. *** For media inquiries, contact: A locked padlock Marion State Bank. This is your state and county equivalent level look at how many have gotten a dose or doses of the COVID-19 vaccine. A lock ( According to the Board of Barber Examiners, to legally run a barbershop, an owner must have a business license and a barber license if they are cutting hair even if that business is run out of a home. In December 2020, an independent auditor informed the SBA that, out of 5.2 million Paycheck Protection Program loans in 2020, the agency made over 2 million approved PPP loan guarantees worth some $189 billion potentially not in compliance with the law. These cases further highlight the ways individuals appear to have taken advantage of lax oversight in the program. The Small Business Administration has said victims of identity theft will not have to repay the loans fraudulently obtained in their name, but some individuals have told media outlets the agency has not promptly resolved their cases. All rights reserved. Former La. are moving. Red Flags: The First Year of COVID-19 Loan Fraud Cases, $189 Billion in Questionable Paycheck Protection Program Loans, With over $189 billion in questionable Paycheck Protection Program loans, law enforcement has just scratched the surface, By U.S. Attorney Evans reiterated that the indictment is merely a charge and that the guilt of the defendant must be proven beyond a reasonable doubt. While the Small Business Administration could be doing more with data on the Economic Injury Disaster Loan program, the agencys independent watchdog has embraced this work. Government Accountability Office revealed, according to Shear of the Government Accountability Office, the Justice Department unveiled new charges, Greenberg bribed an unnamed Small Business Administration insider, according to the Government Accountability Office, 5.8 million advance grants worth $20 billion, underutilized Program Fraud Civil Remedies Act, Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery and Enforcement Act (FIRREA), first settlement in a Paycheck Protection Program civil enforcement case, remarks before the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, revamped the Paycheck Protection Program loan application, for the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee, Lamborghinis, Strip Clubs, Bogus Companies, and Lies, Spike in Suspected Business Loan Fraud Reports Coincided with Paycheck Protection Program, How a Ukrainian Oligarchs Companies Got Paycheck Protection Program Loans. The Paycheck Protection Program saved millions of jobs. Your Address, Corporation Income/Franchise Extension Request. I want to thank the U.S. Attorneys Office and our law enforcement partners for their dedication and commitment to seeing justice served., FBI Assistant Director William F. Sweeney Jr said: The benefits offered by the CARES Act for PPP loans were established to help small businesses survive during the pandemic. Businesses applying for a PPP loan must provide documentation to confirm that they have previously paid employees the compensation represented in the loan application. Making sure that victims of federal crimes are treated with compassion, fairness and respect. The Justice Department has brought criminal charges against at least 209 individuals in 119 cases related to Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) fraud since banks and other lenders began processing loan applications on behalf of the Small Business Administration on April 3, 2020. A borrower applied for a PPP loan from a lender or bank. But such gaps can create ambiguities that muddy the waters in overseeing spending., Still, much can be done with the data that does exist. Joshua Edwards, the supposed vice president of ASLAN International Ministry, is accused of submitting fake payroll, tax, and financial documentation in support of the loan application. When the government spends money, taxpayers deserve to know how it was spent, Clarion Ledger Editor Marlon A. Walker says. New Orleans, Louisiana 70130. Congress reversed course when it passed a new law on December 27, which authorized more coronavirus loans. SOUTHERN CLASSIC OF FARMERVILLE LLC. Origin Bank. Click here to report information on Amazon warehouses. ggdc fulfill service phone number; copenhagen, denmark circle houses for sale; living together in kuwait; brandi carlile brother jay; houston film festival; terrenos de venta en palmview, tx; louisiana ppp loan arrests. Federal court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sarah Netburn passed a new law December... 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