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US Attorney’s Office for Middle District of Ga. investigates high volume of PPP loan fraud

Published: Jun. 18, 2021 at 12:18 PM EDT|Updated: Jun. 18, 2021 at 1:24 PM EDT
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COLUMBUS, Ga. (WTVM) - The U.S. Attorney’s office for the Middle District of Georgia is looking to crack down on more CARES Act Fraud.

Acting U.S. Attorney, Peter Leary, says his office has been investigating a high volume of cases where people are trying to get rich off of PPP loans through the CARES Act.

Leary tells News Leader 9 more and more people are ending up on their radar because of audits from federal agencies.

He says there’s a number of crimes people are committing here like bank fraud and wire fraud, which come with huge fines and serious jail time.

“So I would hope that folks are not engaging in this activity, and I’ve been very thankful of the citizens out there who are reporting concerns they have of people out there committing this type of fraud,” said Leary. “This is money that’s supposed to be helping small businesses survive the pandemic. Not enrich people who are stealing it for their own benefit.”

U.S. Attorney Leary says people are creating fake companies and seeking those funds.

He tells us the FBI, Secret Service, and the Small Business Administration are all looking into these cases to hold those accountable who take advantage of the program.

A Columbus couple was arrested earlier this week accused of defrauding the government of more than $360,000 through CARES Act funding.

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