Articles Posted in COVID-19 Relief Fraud

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iStock-1311468531-300x200The Rensselaerville Institute allegedly overstated its average monthly payroll to receive a larger PPP loan

The Rensselaerville Institute of Albany, New York, a community nonprofit, has paid $86,676 to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by fraudulently overstating its eligibility for a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program, thereby obtaining more funds than it was entitled to receive.  In the settlement, Rensselaerville admitted it fraudulently overstated the organization’s average monthly payroll on its PPP loan application and, despite being alerted to the issue by auditors, did not return the excess funds but instead applied to the government for forgiveness of the entire loan.

The fraud was exposed by Rensselaerville’s former Chief Financial Officer, who filed a qui tam whistleblower lawsuit under the False Claims Act and received a whistleblower award of $17,000 from the settlement, the U.S. Department of Justice said.

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Badger-State firm allegedly failed to disclose that it qualified as a foreign agent which meant it was ineligible to participate in the Paycheck Protection ProgramiStock-1136317631-1-1-300x200

Milwaukee advertising firm Birdsall Voss & Associates, known as BVK, has paid $2.25 million to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by fraudulently obtaining federal COVID-19 relief funds from the U.S. Small Business Administration under the Paycheck Protection Program, the Department of Justice has announced.

The DOJ alleged that BVK knowingly failed to disclose on its PPP loan application that it was required to register with the federal government as a Foreign Agent under the Foreign Agents Registration Act (FARA), which rendered it ineligible to receive a loan under the PPP “second-draw” program.