A Fraud-Ridden PPP Hemorrhages Up To $78 Billion in Taxpayer Funds

Last week, the Small Business Administration’s (SBA) Office of the Inspector General released a report revealing that fraudsters and other non-eligible applicants ran away with up to $78 billion in taxpayer-funded relief.  

Meanwhile, as small businesses continue to shutter and await Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness, the SBA quietly issued “loan necessity” questionnaires and the Federal Reserve lowered the minimum loan amount for their Main Street Lending Program following “muted demand from borrowers and banks.”


NPR | Billions In COVID-19 Relief Loans May Have Been Handed Out To Scammers, Report Says 

“Overall, the [SBA Inspector General] report says the SBA approved $78 billion in program applications to potentially fraudulent or ineligible applicants… loan officers were given just 15 minutes to process each application, which ‘resulted in cursory reviews rather than the deeper reviews required to ensure loans were given to eligible businesses,’ the report noted.”  

Accountable.US | IG Report Found Fraudsters Got $78B in COVID Relief Funds 

Huffington Post | Florida Man Accused Of Using $1.9 Million In PPP Loan Money On New Mercedes, Truck 

The News Tribune | Washington man lied to get $1.1 million in COVID-19 relief funds, feds say 

GeekWire | Another Seattle-area resident charged for COVID-related relief fraud 

WBEZ | How The Super-Rich And Ex-Cons Squeezed Through Loopholes In A COVID-19 ‘Small Business’ Program 

Financial Advisor Magazine | An Avalanche Of Fraud Buried A Small-Business Relief Program 

“The amount stolen from the program, if it’s ever tallied, will almost certainly be measured in the billions of dollars. But that’s only part of the cost. Many legitimate applicants were denied grants because scammers got the money first. And identity thieves pocketing loan proceeds left an unknown number of Americans saddled with bogus debts.”


@Zachary | “Lenders and accountants — who will be working with PPP borrowers on the questionnaire — are alarmed. They say it’s a “gotcha” move and creates more complications for a program that’s been confusing since the beginning” [View Twitter Thread]  

Politico | SBA presses big businesses to justify aid, sparking uproar 

Vox | PPP loans were supposed to be forgiven. Business owners say they’re still waiting.


Wall Street Journal | Fed Again Eases Terms for Main Street Lending Program 

“The Main Street Lending Program, which is jointly run with the Treasury Department, has seen muted demand from borrowers and banks and is designed to encourage more lending to businesses that were in a solid financial condition before the coronavirus pandemic hit this year. Under the program, the Fed will purchase 95% of eligible loans made by banks.” 

CNBC | Fed lowers minimum loan level for small business lending program 

Axios | Federal Reserve expands lending program for small businesses 

CNBC | As Washington delays stimulus, the Fed is running out of ways to help the economy 

“They just don’t have much room to maneuver with regard to monetary policy. I don’t really see what more they can do. That’s why they’ve been so explicit in telling fiscal policymakers to do more, because they know they can’t help.”