WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. (CBS12) — Palm Beach County State Attorney Dave Aronberg announced a task force with the sheriff's office to help the FBI find the criminals who stole COVID-19 relief money.
The announcement was made during a press conference on Wednesday, March 29
It's called the Paycheck Protection Task Force and it will be made up of the current Sober Homes Task Force and two additional officers.
The Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was federal money backed by the Small Business Association to help keep businesses open during the pandemic, but law enforcement quickly found that the loans were going into the wrong people's hands.
Palm Beach County Sheriff's Deputy Mark Berry said, "We find out there are no employees, and in some cases, many cases, there's no operating business at all."
Task force members have already worked on cases that have led to an arrest, like in the case of a Boynton Beach man who was given $441,000 in PPP loans but investigators found he didn't have a business.
Aronberg says it will be hard to get the taxpayer money back, but in the coming months, residents here in Palm Beach County will see dozens of these cases being prosecuted here locally.