2024 What Are the Charges for PPP Loan Fraud in Georgia?

The Law Office of Lawrence J. Zimmerman

PPP loans were made available as part of the Paycheck Protection Program, formed in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. Small businesses that were struggling due to the economy were able to receive assistance from the federal government until they were able to stand on their feet again. However, individuals and businesses have been and are being accused of fraudulently taking advantage of the program. An accomplished Georgia fraud attorney can aid you in defending yourself against such charges.

What to Do if You Are Contacted by the Federal Government

As always, it is in your interest to remain silent until you have obtained legal counsel. Everything you say could be documented and used against you later in court. Whether or not you are at fault for the accusations, not speaking right away can help your case.

What are the Charges for PPP Loan Fraud in Georgia?

What Is Considered Fraud?

Fraud can be committed in numerous ways. Common cases of fraud involve lying and the telling of half-truths. Wire fraud, internet fraud, credit card fraud, loan fraud, and forgery are just a few of the many types of fraud charges you could face. Each type of charge comes with specific repercussions.

Bank Fraud

Any time a payment is given or received, your bank will likely be involved. If money that you obtained fraudulently passes through the hands of your bank, you could be accused of committing bank fraud. This is considered a federal crime and could result in up to thirty years of imprisonment as well as up to $1 million in fines.

Lying to Federal Agents

One reason why it is crucial to navigate your case alongside an experienced fraud attorney is to ensure that you do not make any false claims in the presence of government officials. This in itself is a federal crime and has the potential to result in you serving up to five years of a federal prison sentence, as well as paying up to $250,000 in fines.

Violations of the False Claims Act

If there are any false claims found within your submitted PPP loan paperwork, you could face charges according to the False Claims Act. The penalties for breaking this law are varied and dependent upon specific circumstances but are all considered federal issues.


Along with PPP loan fraud, you can also be investigated for the crime of conspiracy, which is the intentional act of planning a crime and taking steps to complete it along with at least one other person. If you are found guilty, you could face up to five years in prison in addition to other charges. It is often difficult to disprove conspiracy, which is why it is important to have a skilled fraud attorney on your side.

Tax Evasion

It is common for individuals and companies who are faced with PPP loan fraud charges to also be accused of tax evasion. This can be committed through neglecting to report certain tax information from your PPP loan or through attempting to claim deductions from a fraudulent PPP loan. If you are charged with tax evasion, you could face up to five years of federal imprisonment as well as up to $100,000 in fines.


If you are charged with PPP loan fraud, you could receive a probation sentence. While probation is still a disciplinary sentencing, you will not be required to spend time in jail. Your chances of receiving probation depend on whether you have been previously convicted and how catastrophic your offense was.

Possible Defenses for PPP Loan Fraud

Your attorney can help you build a strong defense according to your circumstances. Below are a few routes you may take.

  • Lack of Intent. If your defense attorney can prove that the fraudulent errors charged against you were made unintentionally, you may stand a chance of having the charges dropped.
  • Deception. If you were misled to believe that you were eligible for the loan that you applied for, you could be considered innocent of fraud.
  • Insufficient Evidence. Hiring the right defense attorney is key when determining what to say when you are charged with a crime. Without sufficient evidence, it is difficult for a prosecution team to prove that you are guilty.


Q: What Are the Consequences of PPP Loan Fraud?

A: Fraud consequences are typically weighty and have the possibility to impact your future. If convicted of PPP loan fraud, you could face:

  • Large fines
  • Federal imprisonment
  • Elimination of your voting rights permanently
  • Denied eligibility for government assistant programs in the future
  • Requirements to pay back the frauded money
  • Loss of personal assets

Q: What Are the Sentencing Outcomes for PPP Fraud?

A:  Although each case of PPP loan fraud is different depending on which specific laws were broken, if you are convicted and found guilty of this crime, there is a possibility that you will spend time in prison. There is also a chance that you will be required to pay back all of the money you took. In addition, a hefty fine may also be imposed.

Q: Is PPP Loan Fraud Serious?

A: Fraud, in general, is considered a federal crime. PPP loan fraud can refer to multiple broken criminal laws, meaning a significant increase in penalties. Cases of PPP loan fraud are investigated by the U.S. Small Business Administration. However, depending on what type of fraud was committed, other federal agencies, such as the FBI and IRS, may be involved.

Q: What Triggers a PPP Loan Investigation?

A: Any time someone is intentionally deceptive in a way that causes someone else to accrue a loss, they are considered to have acted fraudulently. The following actions could potentially trigger a PPP loan investigation:

  • Entering false information into your company’s payroll paperwork
  • Falsifying information on your PPP loan application
  • Negligence in filing proper documentation
  • Misusing the funds you receive from your PPP loan
  • Sending more than one PPP loan application to various lenders

Contact a Georgia PPP Loan Fraud Lawyer

Fraud laws are complex, but having a skilled fraud attorney on your side could make a significant difference in your case. Contact the team at The Law Office of Lawrence J. Zimmerman for help with your fraud charges today.

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