Mnuchin Tosses Relief Programs As PPP Fraud Climbs

Last week, Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin failed to extend several crucial Fed emergency lending programs as thousands of businesses continue to close without a new relief bill. Late Friday, the Fed agreed to return the unused funds — paving the way for the Biden administration to potentially run into funding difficulties if the pandemic continues to worsen and businesses and municipalities need more help.  

As the Secret Service begins investigating over 700 Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) fraud cases, Small Business Administration (SBA) supervisors told their staff to restrain from using the word “fraud” when referring to suspicious applications. With millions in taxpayer funds wasted due to the PPP’s mismanagement and lack of transparency, small businesses are begging lawmakers for a new stimulus bill before it’s too late — with little progress in sight. Meanwhile, new reporting from the Project on Government Oversight reveals that hundreds of businesses that received PPP aid went on to make large political donations to various candidates and PACs.


Politico | Powell agrees to return unused relief money to Treasury at year end 

“A new Treasury secretary appointed by Joe Biden when he becomes president could restart the emergency programs, but without the CARES Act funding, the overall lending capacity would be much smaller.”  

Wall Street Journal | Mnuchin Declines to Extend Several Fed Emergency Lending Programs 

@jeannasmialek | “No new loans and no money left in the facilities = a new Democratic administration can’t just restart the programs. They need to find new $$$ to back them up.” [View Twitter Thread]   

@NickTimiraos | “An open question is whether a future Treasury secretary (and his/her lawyers) might determine that the Treasury has the authority to use the Cares Act funding, including the money now being returned to Treasury by the Fed, to restart any of the lending programs” [View Twitter Thread]  

CNBC | Mnuchin’s Fed move is like stripping Titanic of its lifeboats, economist says 


New York Times | For Small-Business Owners, a Shifting Landscape of Resources 

“Small businesses across the United States have been pounded by the pandemic. Entrepreneurs have been forced to make drastic cuts and pivot to new business models to keep going. Financial aid, though, is what has kept the lights on. But today, many sources, including private foundations and the federal government, that once offered loans and grants have either closed their financial aid programs or put them on hold.” 

Accountable.US | With Small Businesses on Brink of Closure, Senate Heads for Recess 

Wall Street Journal | Hundreds of Companies That Got Stimulus Aid Have Failed 

KGW 8 | Oregon businesses worry about lack of economic backstop 

NBC 7 San Diego | 2,300 Small Businesses Got Help From the City. Now They Need More 

Philadelphia Business Journal | ‘Outraged’ Save Philly Restaurants coalition pens open letter to elected officials pushing for Covid-19 relief 

POGO | Large Political Donations Came After Paycheck Protection Program Loans 


Bloomberg | ‘Fraud’ Is a Banned Word in U.S. Aid Program Awash With It 

“A U.S. agency facing mounting scrutiny over how it doled out checks from a $212 billion pandemic relief program has privately directed employees not to use the word “fraud” in writing if they spot suspicious applications. Workers reviewing requests for the Small Business Administration’s Covid-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan program have instead been told by managers to use alternative phrases, such as “duplicate,” according to four people who received the instructions and asked not to be identified discussing internal policies.”  

Wired | Security News This Week: The Secret Service Is Investigating 700 Cases of Covid Relief Fraud 

Huffington Post | 7 Charged With Stealing Millions In COVID Aid, Using It To Buy Lamborghini, Porsche 

Accountable.US | ROUNDUP: The PPP Fraud Cases Keep Coming Under Trump SBA’s Mismanagement 

NBC 4 Los Angeles | Brothers and Wives Charged in $5.6 Million COVID-19 Loan Scheme 

Fox 5 Atlanta | Fraud found in Paycheck Protection Program  

CBS 4 Minnesota | Maple Grove Man Accused Of Fraudulently Receiving $560K+ In PPP Loans