Washington, D.C.— Today, President Joe Biden signed into law the PPP and Bank Fraud Enforcement Harmonization Act and the COVID-19 EIDL Fraud Statute of Limitations Act of 2022. These two bills, introduced by Chairwoman Nydia M. Velázquez (D-NY) and Ranking Member Blaine Luetkemeyer would extend the statute of limitations for certain fraud cases involving the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan (EIDL) program.
“Congress created the PPP and COVID EIDL programs were set up to keep small businesses afloat as they weathered a once-in-a-lifetime economic crisis. Bad actors that took advantage of this emergency did so at the expense of hard-working Main Street businesses,” said Chairwoman Velázquez. “Anyone who defrauded these critical relief programs must be held accountable. These bipartisan bills will ensure law enforcement agencies have the time they need to bring fraudsters to justice.”
SBA’s Office of Inspector General has identified over 70,000 loans totaling over $4.6 billion in potentially fraudulent PPP loans. Multiple reports have found that financial technology (fintech) companies and their lending partners handled as much as 75 percent of PPP loans connected to fraud by the Department of Justice, despite facilitating only 15 percent of the overall loans. Most bank-originated PPP fraud is being prosecuted as bank fraud, which has a 10-year statute of limitations. At the same time, fintech originated loans are prosecuted as wire fraud which carries a 5-year statute of limitations. The PPP and Bank Fraud Enforcement Harmonization Act would establish a 10-year statute of limitations for all PPP fraud, consistent with that for bank fraud.