President Biden signed H.R. 7334 and H.R. 7352 into law last week, extending the statute of limitations for Paycheck Protection Program and COVID-19 Economic Injury Disaster Loan fraud from 5 years to 10 years. The 10-year statute of limitations is consistent with that for bank fraud, the charge in most of these cases.
In attendance at the signing were the Administrator for the Small Business Administration (SBA) Isabella Casillas Guzman; White House American Rescue Plan Coordinator Gene Sperling; and officials from the Office of Management and Budget, the SBA Office of Inspector General, the Department of Justice, and the Pandemic Response Accountability Committee (PRAC).
Michael E. Horowitz, Chair of the PRAC, welcomed this development, having previously called for passage of both bills earlier this year in separate testimony before the House and the Senate. “Holding wrongdoers accountable is central to the PRAC’s mission and extending the statute of limitations for pandemic-related fraud recognizes the magnitude of the fraud that we are investigating and the complexity of these cases.”
The PRAC was established by the CARES Act to promote transparency and support independent oversight of the funds provided by the CARES Act and other related emergency spending bills. In addition to its coordination and oversight responsibilities, the PRAC is tasked with supporting efforts to “prevent and detect fraud, waste, abuse, and mismanagement [and] mitigate major risks that cut across program and agency boundaries.”
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