Florida SBA Fraud Attorney
Recognizing that organizations of all sizes play an essential role in strengthening free competition and the overall economy of the nation, the US Small Business Administration (SBA) was created to assist, counsel, and protect the interests of smaller companies. One of its primary tasks is helping these entities arrange loans, by matching appropriate lenders to eligible organizations. Unfortunately, some opportunistic businesses engage in misconduct through the process, often gaining access to funds through SBA fraud.
As part of its mission to bring wrongdoers to justice and recover fraudulently obtained funds, the government incentivizes private individuals to expose misconduct. By uncovering fraudulent schemes, you may be entitled to receive a reward for your efforts. Our attorneys at Halpern Santos & Pinkert, P.A. have extensive experience handling these whistleblower cases, so please contact our office to learn more. We can set up a free consultation with a Florida SBA fraud attorney who can explain the process, but some general information may also be useful.
Overview of a Typical SBA Fraud Scenario
The idea of being able to procure funds through SBA loans attracts many business owners to the program, but some have ulterior motives. Potential borrowers, acting alone or through conspiracies with other companies, may be tempted to provide false information to SBA and its network of lenders. Examples of fraudulent statements include:
- Overstating income;
- Concealing liabilities;
- Forging affidavits, promissory notes, cashier’s checks, and related documents;
- Falsifying financial and bank statements; and,
- Altering tax records.
SBA fraud is a particular concern in connection with the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), enacted to alleviate the financial stress many small businesses face in connection with the COVID-19 pandemic. Dozens of individuals and businesses have already been charged with misappropriating millions from PPP, and more indictments are expected.
SBA Fraud and Whistleblower Claims
While criminal charges are effective in punishing fraudsters, the government is also motivated to recover the funds stolen through SBA fraud. One of the most important laws in accomplishing this objective is theFederal False Claims Act (FCA). The statute allows private citizens to bring misconduct to the attention of the Office of the Inspector General (OIG), and rewards them when successful.
Our lawyers at Halpern Santos & Pinkert, P.A. can assist with the process, which starts by filing a complaint with the OIG. As “relator,” you provide statements and documentation regarding your allegations of SBA fraud. The government will investigate, and then decide whether to pursue the case or allow you to take on the matter yourself as a whistleblower. Through your efforts, you may be entitled to receive an award of up to 30 percent of the amount recovered.
Speak to a Florida SBA Fraud Attorney About Your Options
If you want to seek justice by blowing the whistle on SBA fraud, please contact Halpern Santos & Pinkert, P.A. for additional information on the legal process and your role as a relator. You can schedule a no-cost case evaluation at our Coral Gables, FL office by calling 305-445-1111 or visiting our website. Once we review your circumstances, we can determine next steps.