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Financial Services Law Insights and Observations

DOJ official discusses PPP fraud enforcement

Federal Issues DOJ Covid-19 SBA Fraud Enforcement Financial Crimes

Federal Issues

On September 10, in remarks at the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Criminal Fraud Enforcement Action press conference, Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian Rabbitt provided an overview of recent PPP enforcement actions and noted that “[m]any financial institutions have been strong partners” in assisting the DOJ with “detecting and investigating potentially fraudulent activity in connection with the PPP.” In addition to partnerships with private institutions, Rabbitt emphasized the agency’s data analytics capabilities as a key component in their ability to bring PPP fraud cases quickly—within six months, the DOJ has charged 57 defendants in at least 19 federal judicial districts. Moreover, Rabbitt discussed commonalities among the cases, including the “defendants’ use of their stolen PPP funds for entirely illegitimate purposes” having nothing to do with the intended relief. In total, according to the DOJ, the current charges against the 57 defendants “involve attempts to steal over $175 million from the PPP” and over $70 million in “actual losses to the federal government.”

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