Northern Virginia Company Settles False Claims Act Allegations Regarding Irregular Paycheck Protection Program Loan | takeover bid

Zen Solutions Inc., a Virginia-based company, has agreed to pay approximately $31,000 in damages and civil penalties to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act by obtaining more than one Check Protection Program loan. (PPP) in 2020. Zen Solutions has also agreed to repay the duplicate PPP loan in full to its lender, releasing the U.S. Small Business Administration (SBA) from liability to the lender for the federal guarantee of approximately $192,000 $ on the abusive loan.

“The PPP loans were intended to provide critical relief to small businesses so they could pay employees and maintain operations,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “The department is committed to prosecuting those who knowingly violated the requirements of PPP or other COVID-19 assistance programs and obtained relief funds to which they were not entitled.”

“PPP funds have been set aside by Congress to help Americans in desperate need as a result of the global pandemic,” said U.S. Attorney Jessica D. Aber for the Eastern District of Virginia. “Misuse of these funds prevents them from going to those who really need them and wastes public funds at the expense of American taxpayers. Therefore, prosecuting PPP loan fraud is a top priority for our office.”

“The Office of Inspector General’s (OIG) continued commitment is to protect SBA funds intended to support the nation’s strong small business community,” said SBA Special Agent in Charge Amaleka McCall-Brathwaite. OIG. “OIG remains committed to weeding out bad actors and protecting the integrity of SBA programs. I want to thank the U.S. Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners for their dedication and pursuit of justice.

Congress created the PPP in March 2020, as part of the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act, to provide emergency financial support to millions of Americans suffering from the economic effects caused by the coronavirus pandemic. COVID-19. 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 until December 31, 2020. This settlement resolves allegations that Zen Solutions applied for and received a duplicate second PPP loan in 2020.

Zen Solutions provides staffing services in the areas of information technology, data analytics, cybersecurity and litigation support. The settlement with Zen Solutions resolved a lawsuit brought under the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act, which allows private parties to sue on behalf of the United States for false claims and to share part of the government recovery. The civil suit was filed by J. Bryan Quesenberry. As part of this resolution, he will receive a share of the recovery.

The resolution achieved in this case is the result of a coordinated effort between the Civil Division’s Commercial Litigation Division, Fraud Section, and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Virginia, with assistance from the Office of the General Counsel and the Office of the SBA Inspector. General.

This case was handled by Civil Division Trial Attorney Jared S. Wiesner and Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kristin Starr and William Hochul from the Eastern District of Virginia.

On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to mobilize Department of Justice resources in partnership with government agencies to scale up enforcement and prevention efforts. pandemic-related fraud. The task force strengthens efforts to investigate and prosecute the most culpable domestic and international criminal actors and assists agencies administering relief programs to prevent fraud, among other methods, by increasing and integrating coordination mechanisms existing ones, identifying resources and techniques to uncover fraudulent actors and their agendas, and sharing and leveraging information and knowledge gained from previous enforcement efforts. For more information about the department’s response to the pandemic, please visit https://www.justice.gov/coronavirus.

Advice and complaints from all sources regarding potential fraud affecting government COVID-19 relief programs may be reported by visiting the Civil Division’s Fraud Section webpage, which can be found here. Anyone with information about alleged attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can also report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud (NCDF) hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF online complaint at: https://www.justice.gov/disaster-fraud/ncdf-disaster-complaint-form.

The claims resolved by the settlement are allegations only and no liability has been determined.

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