Over the last year, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) helped nonprofits and small businesses get the loans they needed to keep their businesses up and running during the difficult times of the recent past.
Unfortunately, some executives and business owners who did not need the aid of the PPP submitted false claims about their own financial needs. This let them receive a PPP loan, despite the fact that they should not have actually qualified.
The PPP loan application and fraud
Cornell Law School takes a look into some of your potential options for dealing with fraud at the workplace. Fraud takes many forms, but at its core, it is the act of cheating something or someone out of their access to honest services, or out of their assets or money. They often use deceit and trickery to achieve this goal.
Those who apply for a PPP loan need to fill in the Borrower Application Form. This form required the applicant to state they needed PPP funding to continue business operations. Under the False Claims Act, anyone who went for the loan despite not needing the money to stay afloat have committed fraud.
Qui Tam lawsuits
As such, these businesses could end up held liable for penalties and damages. After discovering PPP fraud, many employees may want to know what to do if they wish to whistle-blow. A Qui Tam lawsuit is one potential option. Individuals can report a suspected instance of fraud. If the government determines that this fraud occurred, then the filer of the report can receive a portion of the funds. This not only acts as an incentive, but can also help cover any potential legal fees the reporter may face, benefiting everyone involved.