SIOUX FALLS, SD (KELO) – Congress is learning of widespread fraud in a nationwide Small Business Administration loan program. KELOLAND’s investigation uncovered dozens of cases of natural disaster emergency loan fraud, or EIDL for short, in South Dakota last week.
The House screening subcommittee was informed that the SBA had sent its Office of the Inspector General 1.34 million referrals for potential fraud in EIDL program loans and advances.
The SBA’s office of the inspector general now reports that $ 79 billion has been distributed in potentially fraudulent economic disaster loans. The majority – $ 67.5 billion – went to applicants with duplicate addresses, emails, IP addresses and bank accounts.
The EIDL Fraud Task Force works to identify both individuals and networks of scammers and the federal government has seized $ 580 million from fraudulent claims
Federal authorities indicted ten people, who were operating as part of a larger group, for participating in a multi-state program to submit bogus claims for non-existent companies for the EIDLE and Paycheck Protection programs.
The suspects were arrested after a drug seizure at a Georgia home also revealed hundreds of text messages and photos related to fraudulent business loans. One of the women accused of inventing this scheme is a former deputy sheriff of Georgia. This ring is said to have completed around 58 fraudulent EIDL claims for nearly half a million dollars.
Check to see if your name or address has been used fraudulently on these SBA Disaster Emergency Loans Worksheets:
SBA says if your identity was used to fraudulently obtain a COVID-19 economic disaster loan, you must download the SBA COVID-19 Identity Theft Letter EIDL and resend the documents to [email protected] The SBA says it will then conduct a review of the reported identity theft and take action to release the loan on behalf of the victim so that they are not liable for the debt.
You may also want check your credit report with all credit bureaus and put a credit freeze, to prevent this kind of thing from happening. A freeze can be lifted if you have to legitimately apply for a loan.
To report a COVID-19 fraud scheme or suspicious activity, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) by calling the NCDF hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or through the NCDF online complaint form at ‘address : https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.