On July 28, 2020, the Small Business Administration’s (“SBA”) Inspector General (“IG”), Hannibal “Mike” Ware, issued a Management Alert informing SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza that the IG’s preliminary review of the Economic Injury Disaster Loan and Advance (“EIDL”) grant program revealed strong indicators of widespread potential fraud.
On March 26, 2020, as government officials issued a slew of stay-at-home orders, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) published an emergency policy memorandum describing how the agency would exercise its enforcement discretion during the COVID-19 crisis.1
The global coronavirus pandemic has brought confusion and uncertainty to just about every aspect of life, but one thing remains constant: following a dramatic drop in stock price, an issuer’s public statements will be scrutinized, and securities litigation may follow.
In early June, federal agencies brought some of the first enforcement actions against COVID-19 securities fraudsters, involving over $100 million in fraudulent claims and profits, making good on their promise to investigate and prosecute those seeking to fraudulently capitalize on the COVID-19 crisis.
Class actions in the pork and cattle industry foreshadow probable antitrust enforcement and defense strategies against the backdrop of COVID-19, which has caused meat processing plant closures, severe disruptions to the supply chain of consumer meat, and an increase in prices at your local grocery store.
The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has a track record of aggressively pursuing those suspected of fraudulently exploiting federal relief programs meant to combat crises,1 and early signs indicate that DOJ will continue this practice with the current COVID-19 pandemic.
On May 27, 2020, the Federal Reserve Bank of Boston released additional guidance in the form of revised Frequently Asked Questions (“FAQs”), along with forms and agreements, on the Main Street Lending Program (available here).
Scrutiny into Paycheck Protection Program Loans Intensifies — Attracts SEC Attention
On April 1, 2020, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed a district court decision holding that a qui tam relator in a False Claims Act (“FCA”) action failed to file its complaint alleging Small Business Administration (“SBA”) loan fraud within the required statute of limitations.