Criminal Convictions and the CARES Act
Congress has appropriated over $300 billion in Small Business Administration loans to aid businesses coping with the Covid-19 pandemic. Many of these loans may ultimately be forgiven. Will your prior or pending criminal history preclude you from taking advantage of these programs?
Applying for a loan under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) requires applicants to disclose pending criminal charges (misdemeanors or felonies) against anyone who owns 20% or more of the business and, in most cases, any felony charges within the last 5 years. The current version of the application provides as follows:
- Is the Applicant (if an individual) or any individual owning 20% or more of the equity of the Applicant subject to an indictment, criminal information, arraignment, or other means by which formal criminal charges are brought in any jurisdiction, or presently incarcerated, or on probation or parole?
- Within the last 5 years, for any felony, has the Applicant (if an individual) or any owner of the Applicant 1) been convicted; 2) pleaded guilty; 3) pleaded nolo contendere; 4) been placed on pretrial diversion; or 5) been placed on any form of parole or probation (including probation before judgment)?
Given that participation in pre-trial diversion programs can often lead to non-criminal dispositions, some business owners may be unsure if their prior criminal history disqualifies them from participation in the program.
Furthermore, business owners currently facing even low level criminal charges may need to have their cases resolved on an expedited basis so that their pending case is not a hinderance to applying for a loan.
If you have questions about your your eligibility for a loan through the PPP program because of your criminal history please contact us at (518) 462-5601 for a free consultation.