WASHINGTON, D.C. – Late this afternoon, Small Business Administration (SBA) Inspector General Hannibal “Mike” Ware sent a memorandum outlining his concerns about fraud and abuse in the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Advance grant programs to the agency’s administrator, Jovita Carranza.
The issues the inspector general brings up reflect those that have plagued Trump’s poorly designed, poorly executed Paycheck Protection Program (PPP): potential duplicate payments and fraud, likely the result of a lack of proper transparency and oversight in the program’s implementation, allowing taxpayer dollars to flow to the wrong people.
“The problem’s the SBA inspector general brings up about the disaster loan program are no surprise — fraud and abuse due to a lack of transparency are staples of the Trump administration’s style of designing and operating assistance programs,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “The inspector general report is consistent with what we are seeing with SBA’s Paycheck Protection Program: that the poor design and implementation has opened the program up for waste, fraud, and abuse. Congress must address this. Taxpayers deserve to know where their money went.”
- An investigation from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) said, “reliance on applicant self-certifications can leave a program vulnerable to exploitation by those who wish to circumvent eligibility requirements or pursue criminal activities.” The Small Business Administration’s inspector general is also investigating potential fraud of duplicate loans.
- Evidence indicates that some companies may have used funds for purposes other than supporting their businesses, fraudulently obtained PPP funds, or even gotten double loans — which the SBA’s inspector general is investigating to the tune of more than $100 million. And a Government Accountability Office report warned that the program’s design left it “vulnerable to exploitation by those who wish to circumvent eligibility requirements or pursue criminal activities.”
- The Trump administration claims that the PPP saved 51 million jobs, but further investigation calls casts doubt on that statistic. There must be an audit of the PPP to determine how and why these errors and potentially fraudulent uses of the program could occur.