Loans – A Mysterious Maine Farm Obtained a $1.2 Million PPP loan
Simply one other curious case of the widespread bilking of the Covid aid fund.
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Earlier this yr, Widespread Floor Natural Farm LLC in western Maine acquired $1.2 million from the federal government as a part of the federal Paycheck Safety Program. The natural farm based mostly within the city of Bridgton claimed to have 91 staff.
The issue is nobody has ever heard of this farm. In keeping with a report by the Portland Press Herald, an area insurance coverage agency occupies the tackle given for Widespread Floor, not natural potatoes. There’s a firm that was referred to as Widespread Floor Natural Farm, however they’re situated in DeLand, Florida, and by no means utilized for a PPP loan.
The thriller in Maine is simply one other case of scammers profiting from the $523 billion Paycheck Safety Program. A report by the Home Choose Subcommittee recognized greater than $four billion in defective loans paid by the federal government. Another bilkers embody hate teams (as designated by the Southern Poverty Regulation Heart or the Anti-Defamation League) and even NFL large receiver Joshua Bellamy, who was arrested for submitting a fraudulent loan software of $24 million.
Associated: Has There Been $1 Billion in PPP Fraud?
Natural farmers plant suspicion
Natural farmers in Maine have been the primary to flag the suspicious loan to Widespread Floor. They questioned the dimensions of the corporate’s workers and the placement, which was nowhere close to the place large-scale agriculture usually takes place.
Elizabeth Moisuk, a spokesperson for the Small Enterprise Affiliation (S(BA)), informed the Herald that the group was investigating the case, however she had no additional particulars. “Proof of waste, fraud, and abuse with any of S(BA)’s loan applications will not be tolerated and needs to be reported,” she stated.
We are going to hold you posted as extra particulars emerge.
In the meantime, the newspaper was capable of observe down the house owners of the corporate formally generally known as Widespread Floor Natural Farm in Florida. The enterprise’s co-owner Pat Joslin informed them that she’d by no means utilized for a loan as a result of her firm was not eligible. She runs the corporate along with her husband and has no staff or payroll.
Nonetheless, final month the couple acquired a discover from the S(BA) saying that they wanted to begin repaying their loan.
“We have never as a farm taken a loan on anything,” Joslin stated. “We have been here 12 years, then we get this. We went, ‘Holy crap.’ ”