HomeVietnamese AmericanBusiness which collected millions in coronavirus aid catches attention of investigators

Business which collected millions in coronavirus aid catches attention of investigators

A 39-year old business owner in the San Francisco Bay Area who collected millions of dollars in federal aid due to the pandemic is on the radar of the Small Business Administration.

ABC7 News reports that each collected between $350,000 and a million dollars in low interest loans from the Paycheck Protection Program.

The four business all bear similar names- 88 Cloud Computing, 88 Enterprise Services, 88 Investment Empire and 88 Venture Capital. State records indicate that all four businesses are owned by 39-year old Lebnitz Tran.

The loans are intended to help businesses continue to pay their employees during the coronavirus pandemic. All the businesses were supposed to have been in business prior to the pandemic, but records show Tran’s businesses weren’t established until this April, after the pandemic began, according to at least two media reports.

“One of the rules of the PPP program is you can only get one loan,” James Wilcox, of the Haas School of Business at UC Berkeley, told CBS5. “So if you see multiple loans under the PPP program going to what looks like one source, this would certainly get your attention and be a reason to investigate.”

The Small Business Administration says it distributed the PPP money quickly to respond to an emergency, but admits the program may have been victimized by fraudulent claims. Tran told ABC7 news his businesses are all legitimate and then hung up the phone. He declined to respond to requests for a formal interview.

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