Toggle Menu

How to Report PPP Loan Fraud in North & South Carolina

The Paycheck Protection Plan was supposed to save small businesses. Fraudsters had other ideas.

Blow the whistle

The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was created as part of COVID-19 relief efforts to help keep small businesses afloat during an unprecedented time. Sadly, fraudsters helped themselves and emptied the program before some businesses could get any assistance. The Small Business Administration Office of the Inspector General estimates that as much as 200 billion taxpayer dollars were stolen by fraudulent PPP claims. Many businesses were shuttered, and many jobs were lost due to insufficient funds.

If you suspect PPP fraud in North or South Carolina and report it, you could be entitled to a significant award for your courage in coming forward. An experienced whistleblower attorney can help you follow the correct process, retain your eligibility for a possible award, and try to exact some justice against these fraudsters.

Whistleblowers may receive up to 30% of the government’s recovery in a successful PPP fraud case

Do you suspect a company lied on a PPP application or misused funds?

Making a fraudulent PPP claim was easy to do and often difficult to track because of how the program was set up.

Many people and businesses exploited the lack of oversight during a national emergency and obtained fraudulent loans. Even when a business was entitled to funds, the funds had to be used for specific purposes under the PPP program. These restrictions were commonly broken, as well.

Some examples of PPP fraud include:

  • Ineligible or fake businesses applied for and received PPP funds
  • Businesses misrepresented themselves as having more employees and expenses than they did to receive larger sums
  • Fraudsters applied for and received multiple PPP loans in the same year
  • Businesses took PPP funds and used them in ways prohibited by the program

Loans often ended up financing homes, cars, and vacations for fraudsters.

Many of these fraudsters were living the high life, spending misapplied funds on lavish vacations, homes, and high-end cars, while working Americans suffered, losing their jobs and homes during the crisis. In one notable example, a man and woman in Miami admitted to a scheme where they claimed to be operating farms, but the addresses they provided were just single-family homes in the city.

In another case, 150 loan applications were made using the phone number of a Houston gas station. These are the kinds of fraud even a cursory review could have spotted quickly – before funds were ever dispersed.

How do I report someone lying about PPP loans?

To expose fraudsters and potentially get a life-changing reward, you should report someone lying about PPP loans by becoming a whistleblower under the False Claims Act. While the Small Business Administration has a hotline to report PPP fraud, using it may not be the right move in your case.

Here are some of the possible pitfalls in using a government hotline to report fraud:

  • Some hotlines may not allow you to file your report anonymously.
  • Some hotlines may preclude you from seeking a whistleblower award.
  • Some reports to hotlines may not get the attention they deserve.

Instead of using a hotline, you want a confidential, no-cost conversation with an attorney experienced in working whistleblower cases from beginning to end. Your attorney will help you make the right decision for you and, if you choose to file a whistleblower complaint, guide you every step of the way.

Flowchart depicting the whistleblower process for qui tam cases.The whistleblower process

While the whistleblower process may seem intimidating, your attorney will be your advocate at every stage. Here’s what the process looks like.

Some cases may vary, depending on the specific circumstances. Whatever the case may be, if you suspect or know of fraud against the government, do not hesitate to contact us.

Contact an Experienced Whistleblower Attorney to Discuss Your PPP Fraud Claim

PPP fraudsters defrauded the government – and worse, they took taxpayer money intended to help businesses and workers in need. At Carolina Whistleblower Attorneys, our mission is to stamp out corporate greed while protecting those who have the courage to come forward.

The PPP program was shamelessly raided for personal gain, despite being intended for disaster relief. If you suspect PPP fraud, we can guide you on how to report it and work to support your case every step of the way. And if your claim is successful, you could receive up to 30% of the total recovery.

Our team is led by former U.S. Attorney Bill Nettles who built the District of South Carolina into a False Claims Act powerhouse during his tenure. Now in private practice, he’s gathered a team that continues to pursue those who commit fraud against the government while giving whistleblowers an experienced ally to help them navigate the process. And our You-First Policy means we put your best interests first. Always.

Don’t guess if you have a whistleblower case. Find out for free by speaking confidentially with an experienced attorney. Contact Carolina Whistleblower Attorneys online right now or call 1-888-292-8852 any time for a free case evaluation.

Frequently Asked Questions

What triggers a PPP loan investigation?

Here are some things that can trigger a PPP loan fraud investigation:

  • A whistleblower or informant tips off the government.
  • Law enforcement uncovers evidence of possible fraud on its own.
  • Fraudsters make mistakes and attract the attention of authorities.

The efforts of whistleblowers like you are overwhelmingly the most common way that fraud is exposed.   

What rewards are available to whistleblowers?

Under the False Claims Act, if a whistleblower’s case is successful, they may receive up to 30% of the government’s recovery as a reward.