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By Sara Kropf As Andrea mentioned in her last post, the Small Business Administration’s Office of Inspector General (SBA-OIG) has seen a massive increase in fraud complaints to its hotline. These are related to the CARES Act or Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). When an OIG receives a credible allegation of fraud, it will open an investigation. So, we can expect an increase of investigations by the SBA OIG following these hotline reports. We’ve already…
By Andrea L. Moseley Small businesses have been struggling for survival throughout the pandemic. As if that was not hard enough, small business executives have had to hang on with both hands to avoid being thrown off the pendulating landscape of pandemic relief loan rules and guidance from the Small Business Association (SBA). After businesses finally make it through the dizzying application processes, they must face the possibility that the government could investigate the propriety…
By Sara Kropf Each year, we like to look back at our most popular posts. Even in this unique year, our most popular posts were our most practical ones. There’s no doubt that as the news turned to FBI investigations, search terms about the agency’s interview memos increased dramatically. Before we jump in, we want to thank all of our readers. We write this blog for lawyers and non-lawyers alike. Nothing makes us happier than…
By Sara Kropf We just finished watching HBO’s The Undoing. Pandemic or not, it’s great television. I’ll try not include any plot spoilers in this post, but if you really don’t want to know anything about the show, then you probably want to stop reading now. The show follows a wealthy and attractive Upper East Side couple, Dr. Grace Fraser (played by Nicole Kidman) and Dr. Jonathan Fraser (played by Hugh Grant). I loved Hugh…
By Sara Kropf The Securities and Exchange Commission just announced settled charges against The Cheesecake Factory for making misleading disclosures about COVID-19’s impact on its financial situation. According to the SEC’s press release, “[t]he action is the SEC’s first charging a public company for misleading investors about the financial effects of the pandemic.” It appears to be the first concrete action arising out of the SEC’s Coronavirus Steering Committee that was announced this past…
By Andrea Moseley Since late Spring, I have been tracking emerging trends in COVID-19 related fraud. In May, DoJ charged the first individuals in the nation with fraudulently seeking CARES Act SBA Paycheck Protection Loans. As expected, DoJ’s well-funded appetite for prosecuting these types of cases has only intensified since May. In my blog covering the first Paycheck Protection Program (“PPP”) prosecution out of the District of Rhode Island, I suggested that all eyes…
By Sara Kropf Lawyer Sidney Powell appeared at a press conference a few days ago as a member of the President’s legal team and made a few jarring comments (most notably about Cesar Chavez trying to rig the U.S. election). A few days later, the President’s lead personal attorney issued a statement that appeared to remove her from the legal team. It read: Sidney Powell is practicing law on her own. She is not…
By Sara Kropf The Washington Post recently published an interesting article evaluating the risk that President Trump might reveal classified information after he leaves office. The article highlights the amount of amount of classified information revealed to presidents, particularly during their daily security briefings. All presidents exit the office with valuable national secrets in their heads, including the procedures for launching nuclear weapons, intelligence-gathering capabilities — including assets deep inside foreign governments — and the…
By: Sara Kropf I have a Gmail account for personal use. You likely do too. And nearly every one of my clients has one. In fact, Google owns about 43% of the email market. Gmail has about 1.8 billion users and about 306 billion emails are sent and received daily in 2020. Who cares about Gmail this much? The federal government does. That’s because people still send a lot of interesting things via email. The…
By Andrea L. Moseley Just before I took a blogging detour into the world of lawyer/tennis players, I promised to post a straightforward analysis of the certifications within Economic Injury Disaster Loans (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) applications. Now is the perfect time to refocus on these original application certifications as we head into a time when the new wave of forgiveness applications is beginning to take shape.  Just recently, the Small Business…