Florida duct-cleaning company pays to settle PPP loan fraud allegations

by Ben Vernia | October 29th, 2021

On October 28, the Department of Justice announced that a South Florida duct-cleaning company that took out two Paycheck Protection Program loans will pay $30,000 to settle allegations, originally brought by a whistleblower, that the company submitted false claims to the government. According to DOJ’s press release:

Sextant Marine Consulting LLC (Sextant), a Florida-based duct cleaning company, has agreed to pay $30,000 in damages and civil penalties to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by obtaining more than one Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan in 2020. Sextant also repaid the duplicative PPP funds in full to its lender, relieving the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) of liability to the lender for the federal guaranty of approximately $170,000 on the improper loan.   

Congress created the PPP in March 2020, as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, to provide emergency financial support to the millions of Americans suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act authorized billions of dollars in forgivable loans to small businesses struggling to pay employees and other business expenses. Throughout 2020, PPP loan applicants were required to certify that they would not receive more than one PPP loan prior to Dec. 31, 2020. This settlement resolves allegations that Sextant applied for and received a second, duplicative PPP loan in 2020.

The whistleblower will receive $4500 of the settlement (a 15% relator’s share).

Leave a Reply

Recent Posts

Recent Comments