PPP Whistleblowers May Receive Monetary Rewards from the Federal Government
Under Federal law, whistleblowers who expose fraud against the Federal Government may be rewarded under what is called the False Claims Act.
One such situation is whistleblowing on Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) fraud.
The PPP was implemented by the U.S. Small Business Administration to help small businesses and workers during the economic crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The program’s goal is to incentivize business owners to keep employees on payroll by offering loan forgiveness for doing so.
However, many larger businesses attempted to benefit from PPP loans by falsifying business records in order to qualify or by falsely claiming they need the funds as a result of the pandemic.
In an effort to crack down on instances of PPP fraud, the federal government has decided to reward whistleblowers for reporting their employers’ crimes. As such, whistleblowers may be entitled to up to 30% of the funds recovered through any litigation involving their employers’ PPP fraud.
Examples of PPP fraud include the following:
- Applying for multiple PPP loans
- Misrepresenting the immediate need for PPP funds
- Submitting a fraudulent PPP application with falsified business records that overstate the company’s true number of employees
- Using more than 25% of PPP funds for non-payroll expenses, or using the funds to pay for large bonuses or incentive compensation for executives
- Making layoffs after receiving PPP funds
If you know that your employer either applied for the PPP illegally, or used the funds from the PPP improperly, it’s in your best to file a claim under the False Claims Act with the help of an experienced attorney. You may receive significant financial compensation for doing so.
The law requires legal representation in order to file a claim under the FCA. Contact Kershaw, Cook & Talley today at (916) 520-6639 to schedule a free, confidential consultation with our team.