SIOUX FALLS, S.D. (KELO) — Congress is learning about the widespread fraud in a Small Business Administration loan program nationwide. KELOLAND Investigates uncovered dozens of cases of fraud in Emergency Injury Disaster Loans, or EIDL for short, in South Dakota last week.
The House Select Subcommittee was told that the SBA sent its Office of Inspector General 1.34 million referrals for potential fraud in loans and advances from the EIDL program.
The SBA’s Office of Inspector General now reports that $79 billion was doled out in potentially fraudulent Economic Injury Disaster Loans. The majority — $67.5 billion — went to applicants with duplicate addresses, emails, IP addresses, and bank accounts.
The EIDL Fraud Task Force is working to identify both individuals and networks of fraudsters and the feds have seized $580 million from fraudulent applications
The feds have indicted ten people, who operated as part of a larger group, for taking part in a multi-state scheme to submit fake applications for non-existent businesses for both the EIDLE and Paycheck Protection Programs.
The suspects were caught after a drug bust in a Georgia home also turned up hundreds of text messages and photos related to fraudulent business loans. One of the women accused with coming up with the scheme is a former deputy sheriff in Georgia. That ring allegedly completed approximately 58 fraudulent EIDL applications for nearly half a million dollars.
Check to see if your name or address was used fraudulently on these spreadsheets on SBA Emergency Injury Disaster Loans:
The SBA says if your identity was used to fraudulently obtain a COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan, you should download the SBA’s COVID-19 EIDL Identity Theft Letter and return the documents to IDTheftRecords@sba.gov. The SBA says it will then conduct a review of the reported identity theft and take steps to release the loan the victim’s name so they are not liable for the debt.
You may also want to check your credit report from all credit bureaus and put a freeze on your credit, to stop this kind of thing from happening. A freeze can be lifted should you need to legitimately apply for a loan.
To report a COVID-19-related fraud scheme or suspicious activity, contact the National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) by calling the NCDF Hotline at 1-866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Online Complaint Form at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.