Responding to a PPP Subpoena
Received a PPP Subpoena? Here’s What You Need to Know About Your Next Steps
One of the primary ways the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and other federal authorities investigate Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) fraud is through the issuance of subpoenas. These subpoenas often require the production of voluminous records, and non-compliance can lead to legal issues regardless of whether the government’s investigation results in charges for PPP fraud.
If you have received a PPP subpoena, you need to respond carefully. You need to make informed and strategic decisions, and you need to avoid making mistakes that could lead to unnecessary scrutiny. With this in mind, here is a brief introduction to what Paycheck Protection Program loan applicants and recipients need to know about responding to a PPP subpoena:
What to Do if You Receive a PPP Subpoena
Upon receiving a PPP subpoena, one of the first steps you should take is to review the subpoena carefully. In particular, you want to pay attention to the subpoena’s deadline. Even if you have grounds to challenge the subpoena, you must still plan to meet the deadline should your challenge fail, and a successful challenge won’t necessarily result in the subpoena being quashed in its entirety.
It is also important to discern whether you (or your business) are being subpoenaed as a suspect or witness. While all PPP subpoena recipients must make informed decisions based on strategic legal advice, suspects and witnesses will need to handle their subpoenas differently. At Thorn Law Group, we can help you understand how to approach the government’s subpoena, and we can represent you throughout the process of preparing and submitting an appropriate response.
Defending Against Accusations of PPP Fraud
For individuals and businesses targeted in PPP fraud investigations, avoiding unnecessary consequences requires a strategic and proactive defense. This starts with taking a strategic and proactive approach to the government’s subpoena. Some of the key steps involved include:
- Understand the Situation and Be Extremely Careful About the Information You Provide to the Government – When responding to PPP subpoenas, recipients must be extremely careful about the information they provide to the government. If information is protected by the attorney-client privilege or the privilege against self-incrimination, it generally should not be disclosed.
- Assess Your (or Your Business’) Risk and Formulate a Defense Strategy – When facing government scrutiny, it is important to promptly assess the risks involved. Based on this assessment, your (or your business’) counsel can then develop and execute a custom-tailored defense strategy.
- Identify Mitigation and Focus on Achieving a Resolution that Avoids Federal Criminal Fraud Charges – Generally speaking, the best approach to a federal PPP fraud investigation is one focused on avoiding federal criminal charges. Whether this involves terminating the investigation without liability, keeping the investigation civil in nature, or focusing on settlement depends on the specific circumstances at hand.
Discuss Your PPP Subpoena with an IRS Tax Lawyer at Thorn Law Group
If you have received a PPP subpoena, we encourage you to contact us promptly for more information. Call Kevin E. Thorn, Managing Partner of Thorn Law Group at 202-349-4033 or inquire online to schedule an appointment with an IRS tax lawyer at Thorn Law Group.