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Many small business owners found the Paycheck Protection Program to be a lifesaver in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic to cover the cost of payroll, business-related expenses such as rent and utilities, and other related employee benefits. Although the program paid out close to $800 billion in loans for the duration it was in effect, it is now estimated that tens or even hundreds of billions of that total were secured based on fraudulent means.

Paycheck protection program (PPP) fraud investigations in Fort Lauderdale and across South Florida are ongoing and extremely wide-ranging. Individuals who find themselves as the target of these investigations could face extremely grave federal charges that, if convicted, would mean years in jail, fines, and other harsh penalties. If investigators have contacted you or believe that you may be the subject of such an investigation, you should contact a PPP fraud attorney at Rossen Law Firm right away. We know how to handle these cases efficiently and effectively.

Overview of PPP Fraud Investigations

Even though the paycheck protection program issued by the Small Business Administration disbursed close to $800 billion to recipients before it was closed, that money ran out relatively fast. Many people were upset with how funds were distributed; the federal government has now received over 55,000 complaints of fraud. It is estimated that the amount of PPP funds disbursed based on fraudulent premises could total billions of dollars.

Most PPP funds were designed to be spent on costs related to keeping the business running. Moreover, applicants were required to supply detailed payroll, tax, and other business records to demonstrate the need for PPP funds and the amount of funds their business should receive. As a result, any misstatements on the application could lead to federal fraud charges. Common PPP application mistakes include:

  • Listing more employees than the business had
  • Submitting multiple loan applications
  • Reincorporating businesses to demonstrate supposed eligibility for funds
  • Listing shell companies as a means of obtaining a loan
  • Listing higher payroll expenses than the company had

Incorrect use of PPP funds could also lead to a fraud investigation in South Florida. Most of the PPP loans that were previously distributed have now been forgiven, so individuals who sought forgiveness of their PPP Loan when they were not eligible to do so may be left open to federal fraud charges as well. If federal authorities believe that someone committed fraud related to the application for PPP funds, use of PPP funds, the forgiveness of PPP funds, or otherwise, this could give rise to charges including but not limited to identify theft, tax evasion, tax fraud, wire fraud, and money laundering.

Building a Defense Against PPP Fraud Investigations

If a PPP fraud investigation results in a charge and conviction, individuals accused of such could face decades in prison and be forced to pay hundreds of thousands or more in financial penalties. For example, a federal money laundering charge can carry a prison sentence of up to 20 years, while mail fraud or wire fraud can impose a maximum prison sentence of 20 to 30 years.

There are many potential defenses that our Fort Lauderdale attorneys could use to help you during a PPP fraud investigation, depending on the underlying charge or charges involved. Lack of intent or lack of evidence can be plausible defenses.

Reach Out to Our Fort Lauderdale Office If You Are Facing A PPP Fraud Investigation

Multiple federal agencies are handling paycheck protection program (PPP) fraud investigations in South Florida, including the Department of Justice, the Small Business Administration Office of the Inspector General, The Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the Internal Revenue Service. While any criminal accusation requires a proactive and unwavering legal defense, federal criminal charges such as those currently being launched against individuals suspected of PPP fraud carry even tougher penalties.

If you have received a target letter or subpoena related to a PPP fraud investigation or have reason to believe you may be contacted by authorities, call our award-winning legal team right away. You need to consult with an attorney without delay who is ready and able to manage all aspects of your case. The PPP fraud lawyers at Rossen Law are ready to get to work for you.

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00:07 08 Sep 22
In one of the most stressful times in my life, Rossen Law Firm was there for me. Leaving no stone unturned they provided patience and knowledge in every detail of my case. I’m very thankful and proud of this law firm family and especially of my lawyer, Scott Simmons for guiding, defending and helping me in every way possible. He and this law firm family come highly recommended from personal experience!!!
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15:24 26 Aug 22
I had an unfortunate situation with a family member that lead to my arrest and being charged with DV Battery. This was the first time I had ever been arrested so I was very nervous and afraid of what was going to happen to me. After talking with Adam I decided to retain him and let me tell you this was the BEST decision I could have ever made. Adam made me feel so comfortable and confident that everything will turn out the best in my favor. He is professional, ethical and supportive. He was always available too answer any questions or concerns.Not to mention, his team at the office is awesome they are so friendly and welcoming. Anytime I had a question when I called the office they were able to guide me in the rightdirection. They always were in contact with me with any information or updates regarding my case. Adams team is GREAT!Adam delivered, my case was DISMISSED. So if you want an attorney the is gonna fight for you and get the job done retain the BEST there is Adam Rossen!!!
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Adam Rossen and the team at Rossen Law took great care in handling my case. They are very professional, and get the job done. I was particular relieved to see just how much empathy they showed with me, and how effortless it was to be their client.I literally visited them twice. My initial consultation, and then to pickup the final docs. I have nothing but great things to say about these folks, and I would highly recommend them to anyone. Thanks Guys.
Terry ChristopherTerry Christopher
12:32 09 May 22
I had an amazing experience with The Rossen Law Firm. The staff were very professional. Attorney Susan Lawson went above and beyond working on my case. We were thoroughly prepared for trial. Mrs. Lawson reviewed hours of body and dash camera footage multiple times and aggressively performed depositions on witnesses and law enforcement.The final outcome for me was the state dropped my case, due to the great work Susan and the Rossen team performed. I didn’t even need to go to trial.This law firm does not play around. They pay attention to detail and they FIGHT FOR YOU!Thank you Adam, team, and a special thank you to Susan for your amazing work! I really appreciate you.
Ketiana ProvinceKetiana Province
20:27 23 Mar 22
My experience with Rossen Law Firm was excellent. From the consultation to the end.. My attorney Susan Lawson gave my son's case all the time and attention that was needed to be successful in court. She was confident during all the court proceedings. My favorite part was when she said we are family, never once my son and I were treated other then that. I very much appreciate the knowledge and support I received through Rossen Law Firm.
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