Well, that didn’t take long, either.
Yesterday, the Justice Department charged the very first case of fraud against the relief program set up to help small businesses weather the lockdown.
Prosecutors charged two businessmen with fraudulently seeking over $500,000 in forgivable loans meant to defray the cost of their payroll, rent, utilities, or mortgage interest. Allegedly, the two claimed to have dozens of employees at four different businesses when, in fact, there were no employees working at any of them. Three of the businesses were not operating at the time, and the other one didn’t even belong to them.
The loans were available through the Paycheck Protection Program of the Small Business Administration, and they were authorized by the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (or CARES) Act.
The CARES Act was enacted March 27, meaning it took only a month, or less, for the government to investigate the case and charge it.
Thus motive met with opportunity again, the way it may have for the defendants beforehand.