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Ernst Demands SBA Prioritize Fraud Detection and Prevention in the Wake of Massive PPP Theft

The Biden administration has decided not to pursue debt collections on roughly $1.1 billion worth of PPP loans under $100,000.

WASHINGTON – Today, U.S. Senator Joni Ernst (R-Iowa), Ranking Member of the Senate Small Business and Entrepreneurship Committee, questioned Small Business Administration (SBA) Administrator Isabella Guzman. Ernst demanded that the SBA review all Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans suspected of fraud, pursue administrative recoveries, and reverse course on misguided proposed rules.


“A primary focus of the SBA should be to aid in the recovery of the more than $100 billion in fraudulent and improper loans made through COVID relief programs. Report after report has been released from the investigative community indicating tremendous levels of fraud, yet the vast majority of stolen funds remain unrecovered,” said Ernst. “You know who this is not fair to? Taxpayers. Their hard-earned money went into the pockets of potential fraudsters and bad actors, and the SBA is refusing to pursue these collections even though it is required by statute.”


During her questioning, Ernst pointed out that two recently proposed rules could open SBA lending programs to fraud, predatory lending practices, and other vulnerabilities. Ernst noted this is yet another example of this administration “not letting an emergency go to waste,” and instead using the COVID crisis as justification for more government spending and overreach. 


Ernst also questioned Administrator Guzman on the SBA’s one-size-fits-all approach to loan underwriting programs, emphasizing the need for Congressional input and authorization.


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