30 July, 2020

Government watchdog finds 'strong indicators of widespread fraud' in small business loan program


The Small Business Administration's Inspector General said Tuesday the office found likely examples of pervasive fraud in the Economic Injury Disaster Loan Program, which provided funding to small businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.

The watchdog office said its preliminary review found "strong indicators of widespread fraud." Specifically, its investigation into hundreds of hotline complaints found $250 million in loans and grants to "potentially ineligible recipients" and another $45.6 million in potential double payments. 

As of July 26, the SBA had given nearly $164 billion in loans through the program, it said. The potential errors represent about one-tenth of one percent of the program's total funding so far.