PPP AUDIT DEFENSE The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and Paycheck Protection Program have provided necessary economic stimulus to help businesses and individuals weather the pandemic. The Economic Aid Act further expanded on this by authorizing funding for new and additional PPP loans and other support for individuals and businesses. While these aid packages have provided much-needed support, they also have created new risks and uncertainty for those who elect to make use of the available benefits. Borrowers who receive PPP loans from the Small Business Administration (SBA) are subject to audit and investigation by the Special Inspector General (SIG) for Pandemic Recovery in the U.S. Department of the Treasury. The SIG also has the authority to refer cases to the Department of Justice for civil and/or criminal proceedings. All borrowers who accepted loans of $2 million or more are automatically subject to an audit. SKO’s SBA Lending Team can provide adaptive, thorough, and attentive guidance to businesses and individuals subject to audits, investigations, and legal proceedings related to the PPP and the CARES Act. Our team takes a multidisciplinary approach and is staffed by attorneys in multiple specialties, including, but not limited to, litigation, SBA lending, banking regulatory, and tax, to bring a coordinated approach to counsel you through the complex and ever-changing framework of of laws, regulations, and SBA guidance. We advise clients on pre-audit and pre-investigation preparations to develop defenses and document necessity in the event an audit or investigation happens. We also counsel clients on business opportunities within and compliance with the CARES Act and related IRS rules and regulations, including significant tax benefits to businesses and individuals such as Employee Retention Tax Credits and Federal Payroll Tax Deferrals. If an audit, investigation, or proceeding against you or your business begins, we will help design the specific legal strategies necessary to protect you and your business. QUI TAM PROCEEDINGS In addition to audits, investigations, and other legal proceedings by the SBA and Department of Justice, the Federal False Claims Act allows for private individuals to bring legal proceedings against borrowers in the name of the federal government. If successful, these private individuals may be able to recover substantial damages from you or your business. SKO’s SBA Lending Team has significant experience efficiently and successfully defending clients in qui tam actions brought under the False Claims Act.