PPP program fraud may face legal reckoning

The Paycheck Protection Program was one of the signature federal economic relief measures in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, providing small businesses loans of up to $10 million that were forgivable if used for payroll and other approved expenses. But the program, which tasked banks and other private lenders with processing applications, was beset by fraud from its earliest days in the spring of 2020, with some recent estimates suggesting that more than $117 billion of the $780 billion in federal loans went to ineligible businesses. Hundreds of borrowers have been prosecuted for submitting fraudulent PPP applications, but few lenders have been held accountable for their role in approving these fraudulent loans.

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