Lawmakers want answers about billions of dollars in fraud related to Paycheck Protection Program

Lawmakers want answers about billions of dollars in fraud related to Paycheck Protection Program

WASHINGTON — Sharp questions about where money from the Paycheck Protection Program ended up were asked in a hearing room on Capitol Hill on Thursday.

The latest government numbers show that $525 billion dollars in forgivable loans have been sent to small businesses.

Of that, $4 billion was red-flagged for being fraudulently obtained by people or companies that shouldn’t have.

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“Our office has received tens of thousands of complaints of wrongdoing on our hotline. Hundreds of investigations of fraud have been initiated in my office,” said Mike Ware of the Small Business Administration.

In Miami, Florida, authorities charged a man with bank fraud for allegedly lying on Paycheck Protection Program loan applications and spending the money on luxury items, including a Lamborghini.

The Small Business Administration told lawmakers that the fraud is happening too often.

This recent report from the Government Accountability Office recommended that the SBA step up how it’s minimizing risks related to the program.

On Thursday, the GAO outlined those suggestions, saying they should’ve been in place long ago.

The SBA said it is working on a report to lay out how serious the fraud is. The agency expects to release it later this month.

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