PPP Fraud Roundup, More Calls For SBA Oversight

This week, Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) fraud cases rose across the country, from a Minnesota business owner who used his loan on a Harley Davidson to Floridians who pretended to be farmers. New reporting revealed PPP recipients include private jet companies who triple-dipped in CARES Act bailout programs, Khloé Kardashian, and the oil industry. Meanwhile, “one in every five small businesses say they will not be able to stay open if economic conditions don’t improve in the next six months,” and Black-owned businesses are at-risk of permanently shutting their doors. 

While the wealthy and well-connected continue to thrive, the Main Street Lending Program (MSLP), a program intended for mid-size businesses that were too big for the PPP, provided taxpayer-funded relief to a casino with known mafia connections. This news comes as more experts call for additional oversight into the Small Business Administration.


PPP FRAUD CASES CONTINUE TO RISE ACROSS THE COUNTRY 

CBS News | Paycheck Protection Program fraud cases are on the rise 

“The Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, was designed to help small businesses continue to pay their workers and stay afloat during the pandemic. But some people who obtained funds from the program used the government aid to buy luxury items, federal prosecutors said.” 

Associated Press | Jim Bakker gets PPP loans during legal fight on fraud claims 

Billings Gazette | Montana contractor accused of seeking COVID-19 business loan to pay off personal court costs 

@Accountable.US | “$841K in taxpayer money (#PPP) went to a fraudster in Minnesota who spent the cash on a new Harley Davidson and golf supplies. The worst part? His “struggling” business has been closed for 2 years. Broken record alert: We need more oversight.” [View Tweet] 

Yahoo! Money | Henderson man accused of using PPP money to buy $400K house 

Fox Business | Florida neighbors sought $1.1M in coronavirus relief by pretending to be farmers: feds 

Newsweek | N.C. Man Accused of Using Fake Tax Documents to Get More Than $400K in COVID Relief Funding 


PPP LOAN RECIPIENTS INCLUDE: PRIVATE JET COMPANIES, OIL INDUSTRY, AND MORE  

Business Insider | Private jet companies scored a pile of federal aid meant for airlines and small businesses, boosting the industry as other sectors collapsed 

“Thirty-six private jet companies have received $7,538,300 in Economic Injury Disaster Loans from the Small Business Administration and at least 95 private jet firms got Paycheck Protection Program loans, totaling between $64.3 million and $149.9 million.” 

Tampa Bay Times | 10 loans, one address: Tampa philanthropist’s hotels got millions in federal aid 

Showbiz CheatSheet | Khloé Kardashian Took Over $1 Million in PPP Loans Despite Her $40 Million Net Worth 

News 12 KPNX | East Valley charter school district won’t say why it received up to $1 million in PPP funds 

Sierra Club | Bailout: Billions of Dollars of Federal COVID-19 Relief Money Flow to the Oil Industry

Accountable.US | Big Oil And Coal Is In Big Trouble Despite Billions In Bailouts


TAXPAYER-FUNDED MAIN STREET LENDING PROGRAM MEANT FOR MIDSIZE BUSINESSES LOANS TO CASINO WITH ORGANIZED CRIME CONNECTIONS  

Philadelphia Inquirier | Family ties bind bank behind $50M taxpayer-backed coronavirus loan to Poconos casino 

“The Scranton-area bank directed by landfill magnate Louis A. DeNaples has handed out the biggest loan yet — for $50 million — from a taxpayer-backed program to help mid-sized businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. The recipient: the Mount Airy Casino Resort, owned by trusts for DeNaples’ children and grandchildren. DeNaples had to relinquish his own ownership to resolve charges that he’d concealed his ties to organized crime.” 

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette | The Fed has $600B in Main Street loan money. Why aren’t more Main Street businesses using it? 

Bloomberg | Midsize Businesses Aren’t Getting the Help They Need 

Miami Herald | Fed program targeting businesses too big for PPP mostly benefits businesses that got PPP  


SMALL BUSINESSES – ESPECIALLY BLACK-OWNED – MAY NEVER RECOVER FROM PANDEMIC RESPONSE  

The Hill | Survey: One-fifth of small businesses will close if conditions don’t improve 

“One in every five small businesses say they will not be able to stay open if economic conditions don’t improve in the next six months, and a similar number say they can only last a year.” 

Detroit Free Press | Detroit’s Black entrepreneurs at high risk after pandemic 

WHYY Philadelphia | Philly’s Black-owned business crisis: Walloped by the pandemic and closing at faster rates 

El Paso Inc. | Over 120 El Paso businesses close for good; others fight for survival as aid dries up 

WFMZ-TV | Small businesses say mail slowdown hurting at worst time 


EXPERTS CALL FOR MORE OVERSIGHT OF THE SMALL BUSINESS ADMINISTRATION

Bloomberg | Phantom Companies Got More Than $1 Billion in Coronavirus Aid 

“In some parts of the country the SBA approved far more $10,000 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) grants than the number of eligible businesses, the analysis found. The epicenter was six adjacent congressional districts in the Chicago area, where 81,000 grants were approved even though there are only 19,000 eligible recipients. That’s more than $600 million going to phantom entrepreneurs.”  

@Accountable.US | “.@COVID_Oversight found that the @SBAgov skirted financial disclosure rules and is asking for the release of all loans over 25k. We agree: release the data. End the lack of transparency and oversight.” [View Tweet

Wall Street Journal | SBA Accused of Skirting Financial Disclosure Rule 

@CNN | “Ethics experts say more oversight of the Paycheck Protection Program is needed after a loan recipient funded Trump billboards https://t.co/yuHKoT3Egm?amp=1” [View Tweet]  


POOREST CONGRESSIONAL DISTRICTS RECEIVE LESS PPP FUNDING THAN THE RICHEST

Politico Morning Money | First look: New PPP analysis

“Watchdog group Accountable.US is releasing a new report this morning “finding the 10 poorest congressional districts received over 56,600 fewer PPP loans than the 10 wealthiest districts – amounting to a $13.3 billion gulf (and an average of $35,566 less per loan). ‘The poorest districts were also disproportionately black, averaging 41.8-percent black compared to the wealthiest districts’ average of 6.3-percent black.’” 

Charlotte Observer | Nation’s poorest areas got billions less in PPP cash than richest, report finds 

Accountable.US | Report: Poorest Congressional Districts Shortchanged by PPP Program