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On April 21, 2021, the Department of Justice (DOJ) inked its second civil settlement resolving allegations of fraud involving loans issued pursuant to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Sandeep S. Walia, M.D., a Professional Medical Corporation (Walia PMC), and its owner, Dr. Walia, agreed to pay $70,000 in damages and penalties to resolve alleged violations of the False Claims Act (FCA) tied to allegations that Dr. Walia falsely certified in a second PPP loan application that his medical practice had not previously received a PPP loan after it had already received one from a different lender.  Walia PMC also agreed to repay the second PPP loan for $430,000.  This latest settlement is a continued reflection of the heightened scrutiny of the PPP, and suggests that the FCA may quickly become a favored enforcement tool by the government in its continued pursuit of PPP-related fraud.
Continue Reading Avoiding Loan Forgiveness Is No Shield from False Claims Act Liability in Latest Paycheck Protection Program Fraud Settlement

On June 9, the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee held a committee hearing entitled “COVID-19 Fraud: Law Enforcement’s Response to Those Exploiting the Pandemic” for representatives of the Department of Justice (DOJ), the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and the Secret Service to address how they are combatting, investigating, and prosecuting COVID-19-related crimes. The witnesses included

The Department of Justice (DOJ) on Friday reemphasized its commitment to protecting the federal programs providing COVID-related aid when it announced charges against a Beverly Hills film producer for his allegedly false statements to the Small Business Administration (SBA). Where recent Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) fraud cases focused on false statements in the applications, the

Federal authorities continue to prioritize and aggressively pursue individuals across the country who seek to exploit coronavirus relief programs meant to aid small businesses and their employees. Over the past week, Muge Ma of New York and Samuel Yates of Texas were arrested, each for submitting multiple fraudulent applications for COVID-19 relief through the Paycheck

The Justice Department filed the first of likely many criminal charges related to the coronavirus stimulus Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the $660 billion taxpayer fund to provide largely forgivable loans to small businesses suffering under the strain of the pandemic.

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In this episode, hosts Jason Crawford and Mana Lombardo talk with Rebecca Ricigliano and Steve Byers, both partners in the firm’s White Collar & Regulatory Enforcement Group, about key considerations for navigating parallel criminal and civil False Claims Act proceedings. “Let’s Talk FCA” is Crowell & Moring’s podcast covering the latest developments with the False