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SBA PPP Loan Fraud Lawyers

The SBA PPP loan fraud lawyers with Gallian Firm are ready to provide a comprehensive, effective defense if you face this serious charge. We thoroughly understand federal fraud laws, and we’ll put our skills and knowledge to work for your benefit.

 

You’ll receive relentless, aggressive representation when you turn to Gallian Firm. We’ll do all we can to help you achieve the most favorable outcome.

Why Turn to Gallian Firm?

At Gallian Firm, we have a team of SBA PPP loan fraud lawyers with a long track record of successfully defending people accused of many state and federal crimes. 

 

Our criminal defense and civil litigation lawyers have worked on the other side, so we know how prosecutors think. Our fierce advocacy has earned the respect of judges and attorneys throughout Texas because we’re relentless. That characteristic has resulted in the dismissals of hundreds of cases.

 

Gallian Firm is conveniently located near the intersection of Maple Avenue and Hood Street, just to the north of Reverchon Park. Our address is 3500 Maple Avenue in Dallas, and our phone number is (214) 432-8860.

Gallian Firm Attorneys Gregg and Jaclyn Gallian

Types of SBA PPP Loan Fraud Allegations

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which the Small Business Administration (SBA) introduced to support businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic, provided crucial financial assistance but became a fraud target.

 

PPP loan fraud allegations typically involve misrepresenting business size, misuse of loan funds, and false certifications.

 

Here’s some information on each.

 

  • Misrepresentation of business size: One common type of fraud allegation involves misrepresenting a business’s size to qualify for PPP loans. The program had specific eligibility criteria, including a limited number of employees. Businesses might falsely claim to have fewer employees than they actually do to fit these criteria. This misrepresentation can involve altering payroll records or creating fictitious employee lists.
  • Misuse of loan funds: Another frequent allegation is the misuse of loan funds. The SBA intended PPP loans primarily for payroll expenses, rent, utilities, and mortgage interest. However, some recipients allegedly used these funds for unauthorized purposes, such as personal expenses, luxury items, or investments. This misuse is often identified through financial audits and discrepancies in accounting records.
  • False certifications: To secure a PPP loan, businesses had to certify the truthfulness of their applications and show why they needed the funds. False certifications occurred when businesses knowingly made inaccurate statements about their need for the loan or compliance with PPP requirements. Examples include overstating financial hardships or inaccurately reporting the use of funds.

Common Scenarios Leading to Fraud Allegations 

Fraud allegations often arise from whistleblower tips, discrepancies found during audits, or routine checks by lending institutions.

 

For instance, an employee aware of fraudulent activities might report the business, or financial audits might reveal inconsistencies in how the company used funds. Scrutiny of loan forgiveness applications can uncover improper use of funds or false information.

 

It helps to know what might lead to allegations. Early legal intervention and thorough investigation can help address potential accusations and possibly avoid a case altogether.

Potential Consequences of PPP Loan Fraud

Being accused of PPP loan fraud carries severe legal and financial repercussions. The consequences of these allegations can be extensive, impacting not only the accused individual’s personal and financial life but also the ongoing viability of their business.

 

Fines

One of the primary financial penalties for PPP loan fraud is substantial fines. Depending on the severity and extent of the fraud, these fines can range from thousands to millions of dollars. The fines serve as a deterrent and to recover the misappropriated funds.

 

Imprisonment

Criminal charges for PPP loan fraud can lead to imprisonment. The length of the prison sentence varies based on the nature and extent of the fraud but can range from several months to several years. Federal sentencing guidelines provide for significant penalties for fraud, especially when large sums of money are involved.

 

Loss of Business Licenses

Businesses found guilty of PPP loan fraud may face the revocation of their business licenses. This consequence can impede a business’s ability to operate, leading to its closure and the loss of livelihoods for its employees.

 

Regulatory bodies and licensing authorities take fraud very seriously, and losing a license is a standard punitive measure.

 

Reputation Damage

Beyond legal and financial penalties, allegations of PPP loan fraud can severely damage a business’s reputation. The stigma associated with fraud can lead to the loss of customers, clients, and business partners, further impacting the business’s financial health and prospects for recovery.

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Initial Steps to Take if Accused of PPP Loan Fraud

Facing accusations of PPP loan fraud requires immediate, strategic action to protect your interests and build a strong defense. Here is a step-by-step guide on what to do if you find yourself in this situation.

 

Preserve Documents

The first step is to preserve all documents related to your PPP loan application and use of funds. This includes financial records, payroll documents, bank or SBA correspondence, and other relevant paperwork.

 

Preserving these documents is crucial as they will form the basis of your defense. Avoid altering or destroying any documents, as this can lead to additional charges of obstruction of justice.

 

Avoid Investigator Questioning

If federal investigators contact you, avoid speaking with them without legal representation. They can use what you say against you, so please exercise your right to remain silent. Politely decline to answer questions and inform them that you’ll consult with a defense lawyer.

 

Consult Our Defense Lawyers Immediately

Seek legal counsel as soon as possible. The SBA PPP loan fraud lawyers with Gallian Firm have extensive experience in this area and will provide valuable guidance on how to proceed. They’ll review your case, advise you on your rights, and formulate a defense strategy.

 

Notify Relevant Parties 

If necessary, inform relevant parties such as business partners, investors, or employees about the situation. Maintain transparency while following legal advice to avoid making statements that can harm your case.

 

We can’t overstate the importance of early legal intervention. Taking these initial steps promptly can help preserve your rights, build a strong defense, and mitigate the potential impact of PPP loan fraud allegations.

Common Defense Strategies for PPP Loan Fraud

Defending against such serious allegations requires the help of SBA PPP loan fraud lawyers who comprehensively understand the law and the specific circumstances of your case.

 

Lawyers may employ several common defense strategies to effectively protect their clients and challenge accusations. Here are a few we may use.

 

Demonstrating Good Faith Efforts to Comply with the Law

One of the most effective defense strategies is demonstrating that you made good faith efforts to comply with PPP loan requirements.

 

Gallian Law SBA PPP loan fraud lawyers may, for example, work to show you sought advice from financial advisors, accountants, or legal professionals before applying for the loan.

 

We’ll also work to prove you used the funds as the experts instructed. If you relied on professional guidance and documentation, we can argue that any errors were unintentional and made in good faith.

 

Proving Lack of Intent to Defraud

Intent is a critical component of fraud charges. The prosecution must prove that you intended to deceive or defraud.

 

Your Gallian Law SBA PPP loan fraud lawyers can argue you never intended to commit fraud. We can present evidence of honest mistakes, misunderstandings, or reliance on incorrect information. We may also highlight the absence of a criminal history or prior incidents of fraud to support the lack of intent.

 

Challenging the Prosecution’s Evidence

Another key defense strategy is to scrutinize and challenge the prosecution’s evidence. This approach includes questioning the accuracy and reliability of financial records, witness testimonies, and documentation the prosecution presents. 

 

Gallian Firm SBA PPP loan fraud lawyers often investigate to uncover inconsistencies, errors, or alternative explanations for the alleged fraudulent activities. Discrediting the prosecution’s evidence can weaken their case significantly.

 

Arguing Procedural Error

Fraud investigators must meticulously follow legal procedures. Any deviations from these procedures can be grounds for dismissing charges or excluding evidence.

 

Your Gallian Firm SBA PPP loan fraud lawyers might argue that investigators failed to follow proper protocols, violated your rights, or conducted an unlawful search and seizure. Highlighting procedural errors can undermine the legitimacy of the prosecution’s case.

 

Highlighting Mitigating Circumstances

Presenting mitigating circumstances can also be an effective defense strategy. Doing so involves showing that you took steps to rectify any mistakes once you identified them.

 

For example, you may have returned misused funds or cooperated with investigators. Demonstrating remorse and a willingness to make amends can influence the court’s perception and potentially lead to reduced charges or sentencing.

 

Using Expert Testimony

Expert witnesses, such as forensic accountants or financial analysts, can bolster your defense. These experts can provide independent analysis of financial records, clarify complex financial transactions, and offer alternative interpretations of the evidence. Their testimony can lend credibility to your defense lawyer’s arguments and counter the prosecution’s claims.

 

Employing these defense strategies can significantly impact the outcome of PPP loan fraud cases.

 

Skilled Gallian Firm SBA PPP loan fraud lawyers will tailor their approach based on the case’s specifics, leveraging these strategies to protect their client’s rights and achieve the best possible result.

What to Know About Federal Investigations

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If you face a federal investigation for PPP loan fraud, you must understand the process. You must also know how your SBA PPP loan fraud lawyers will strategically handle interactions with federal agencies.

 

These investigations typically involve multiple federal agencies, including the SBA, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Department of Justice (DOJ).

 

The Federal Investigation Process

Federal investigations into PPP loan fraud often begin with a preliminary inquiry. A whistleblower complaint, an audit finding, or a financial institution tip can trigger the inquiry.

 

This initial phase involves gathering preliminary information to determine if sufficient evidence exists to warrant a full investigation. If warranted, the investigation escalates, involving more extensive data collection, witness interviews, and financial analysis.

 

The SBA plays a central role in these investigations, as it oversees the administration of the PPP loans. The SBA’s Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducts audits and investigations to identify fraudulent activities.

 

The FBI often collaborates with the SBA OIG to leverage its financial crime expertise and resources for complex investigations. The DOJ prosecutes cases of PPP loan fraud, bringing charges against individuals or businesses and seeking legal penalties.

 

Handling Interactions with Federal Investigators

Hire a lawyer to handle interactions with federal investigators carefully. One of the most important tips is to avoid speaking with investigators without your SBA PPP loan fraud lawyers present. Investigators will use anything you say against you, so exercise your right to remain silent and consult with an attorney.

 

When federal investigators approach, politely but firmly request a lawyer before answering any questions to protect your rights. Your lawyer can guide you on responding to investigators and what information to provide.

 

Protecting Your Legal Rights During an Investigation

During a federal investigation, protect your legal rights in the following ways:

 

  • Document preservation: Keep all relevant documents intact. Don’t alter or destroy any of them. These documents include financial records, correspondence, and any other materials related to the PPP loan.
  • Legal representation: Speak with the SBA PPP loan fraud lawyers at Gallian Firm as soon as possible. They can provide critical advice, represent you in interactions with investigators, and develop a defense strategy.
  • Understand the charges: Work with your attorney to understand the specific charges or allegations against you. This knowledge is crucial for developing a targeted defense.
  • Prepare for interviews: If federal investigators require you to participate in interviews, your lawyer can prepare you. This preparation includes understanding the scope of the investigation, anticipating questions, and formulating appropriate responses.

 

Dealing with a federal investigation requires a strategic and informed approach. This approach will help you better manage the situation and work toward a favorable outcome. Contacting the SBA PPP loan fraud lawyers with Gallian Firm is critical to developing a proactive defense strategy.

Please Get in Touch Immediately

You can’t afford to wait if you face federal loan fraud charges. Please call the skilled, experienced SBA PPP loan fraud lawyers with Gallian Firm at (214) 432-8860 or contact us online for your free consultation.

Gallian Firm – Dallas Location

3500 Maple Ave suite 720
Dallas, TX 75219
Phone: (214) 432-8860

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