July 21, 2020
In an article published on July 21, 2020 in the Daily Report, Nekia Hackworth Jones discusses the $2 trillion economic relief package from Congress’ Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act and how businesses who have received funds should take their responsibility to comply with funding terms seriously to reduce compliance and litigation risk while preserving jobs and rebuilding critical operations.
“Create a paper trail. Keep detailed records of all PPP loan expenditures,” writes Hackworth Jones. “Electronic payments from the PPP-designated bank account may streamline this record-keeping, but it also be done manually or by a third party. No matter the method, businesses should be able to clearly trace the funds from their bank account to authorized uses, such as payroll and rent.”
Hackworth Jones also discusses what businesses should do if they find a problem and offers critical steps companies can take.
“Don’t go at it alone. Whether in-house or outside counsel, attorneys who have extensive investigations experience can be a valuable resource for companies that want to undertake an internal investigation,” writes Hackworth Jones. “Counsel can discuss with companies whether and how to fix the problem and how to handle disclosure to the government, should it become necessary. This is particularly important for organizations that may have violated the terms of their CARES Act funding, as noncompliance implicates violations of federal law and may give rise to civil and criminal penalties.”
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