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By: Andrea L. Moseley As you might see from the above, not-so-subtle, “light at the end of the tunnel” graphic metaphor, my answer to the headline question is a buoyant “yes.” I continue to track the evolution of the Department of Justice’s (DoJ’s) pursuit of businesses that have allegedly engaged in fraudulent conduct relating to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). On the ever-winding PPP road, there are some hot-off-the-fire developments to fold into my ongoing…
By Sara Kropf If I had a dollar for every time a government employee told me, “this OIG investigation is political!”—well, I’d be retired by now. I get it. The Inspector General for many agencies is appointed by the President. There’s a natural instinct to view that person as sharing the politics of the person in the Oval Office. If you have conservative political views and the IG was appointed by a Democratic president, then…
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…