Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said all loans of more than $2 million in a government relief program for small businesses will be audited to ensure they were justified after large public companies and big chains sparked outrage by taking funds.
Mnuchin said the loans of as much as $10 million meant to keep workers on payrolls under the Paycheck Protection Program were intended for small firms, not public companies and big chains that have access to other capital. The U.S. Small Business Administration will check that borrowers who took large loans properly certified they were needed because of the coronavirus outbreak, he said.
“I want to be very clear it’s the borrowers who have criminal liability if they made this certification and it’s not true,” Mnuchin said Tuesday on CNBC. “We will make sure that what was the intent for taxpayers is fulfilled here.”
Mnuchin said it was “outrageous” that the Los Angeles Lakers took a $4.6 million relief loan, and that it was inappropriate for other large public companies and big chains to get funding as well.
A backlash against those companies getting relief aid has prompted entities including the Lakers to start returning the money. More than $2 billion from the first round of funding for the program was declined or returned and will now be made available, SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza said in a tweet on Monday. – READ MORE
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