COVID-19 Pandemic EIDL and PPP Loan Fraud Landscape
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The U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) Office of Inspector General (OIG) conducted this review to provide a comprehensive estimate of the potential fraud in the U.S. Small Business Administration’s (SBA) pandemic assistance loan programs. Over the course of the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic, SBA disbursed approximately $1.2 trillion of COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) and Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds.
In the rush to swiftly disburse COVID-19 EIDL and PPP funds, SBA calibrated its internal controls. The agency weakened or removed the controls necessary to prevent fraudsters from easily gaining access to these programs and provide assurance that only eligible entities received funds. However, the allure of “easy money” in this pay and chase environment attracted an overwhelming number of fraudsters to the programs.
We estimate that SBA disbursed over $200 billion in potentially fraudulent COVID-19 EIDLs, EIDL Targeted Advances, Supplemental Targeted Advances, and PPP loans. This means at least 17 percent of all COVID-19 EIDL and PPP funds were disbursed to potentially fraudulent actors.
OIG collaboration with SBA, the U.S. Secret Service, other federal agencies, and financial institutions has resulted in nearly $30 billion in COVID-19 EIDL and PPP funds being seized or returned to SBA.
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