This week’s Golden Horseshoe goes to the Small Business Administration for millions in Paycheck Protection Program loans it issued to fraudsters who used the money to purchase luxury homes, high-priced jewelry and expensive cars, including a Bentley and two Lamborghinis, according to a watchdog report.
The Paycheck Protection Program had the highest percentage of cases of criminal activity of all the pandemic relief programs, according to the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee’s recent Semiannual Report to Congress.
“A total of 14 OIGs have indictments/complaints, arrests, and/or convictions from April 1, 2021, through September 30, 2021, related to the federal government’s COVID-19 pandemic response,” PRAC reported.
As the Small Business Administration official who oversaw the Paycheck Protection Program, I’m often asked, “Did PPP actually work?”
PPP was a response to state and local governments mandating shutdowns as a way to slow the spread of COVID-19. The premise was this: Encourage lenders to provide small businesses and nonprofits with forgivable, SBA-guaranteed loans over an eight-week period as a payroll-support measure. This small business financial support was designed to help prevent mass unemployment as Americans were confined to their homes.
A consulting firm co-owned by Rep. Ilhan Omar’s husband received more than $600,000 in COVID-19 relief funds while taking millions from Omar’s campaign.
Records show that E Street Group received $134,800 from the Paycheck Protection Program and $500,000 in Economic Injury Disaster Loans.
Omar’s campaign has paid the firm $2.78 million since July 2019, according to Federal Election Commission records. Between July 23 and Sept. 30, E Street Group received $1.1 million from Omar’s campaign for expenses related to advertising, digital consulting, video production and editing, travel and more.
U.S. Sen. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) told CNBC’s SquawkBox on Wednesday that Republicans will try again to pass their bill that would provide PPP and vaccine funding despite Democrats’ attempts to block the efforts.
CNBC asked Blackburn if she would vote for a deal if the White House and the Treasury Department reached an agreement with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA-12).
A California man was arrested on Thursday after being charged with fraudulently claiming $8.5 million in coronavirus relief funds through the Payment Protection Program (PPP) and spending hundreds of thousands at a Las Vegas casino, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) announced.
The criminal complaint charges Andrew Marnell, 40, of Los Angeles, CA, with submitting fake documents in the PPP funding application, lying about the expenses and business operations of several businesses and using fake aliases to obtain these federal government sourced funds.
The $670 billion Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) has supported more than 51 million jobs since its launch in April, the Treasury Department and Small Business Administration announced Monday as it released information on 4.9 million loans disbursed by the program.
“The PPP is providing much-needed relief to millions of American small businesses, supporting more than 51 million jobs and over 80 percent of all small business employees, who are the drivers of economic growth in our country,” Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said in a statement Monday.
One of the largest banks in the United States announced that it is no longer accepting applications for a federal program aimed at rescuing small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
Wells Fargo has stopped accepting new applications for the government’s Paycheck Protection Program, an initiative created by the government to assist U.S. businesses that employ fewer than 500 people. The bank’s decision came after it was inundated with billions of dollars in loan requests since Friday.