Various U.S. government agencies and Congress have announced an aggressive push to review, audit, and even investigate organizations that have received funds provided by the federal government as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. These include funds from the bipartisan Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act—specifically, the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and Provider Relief Fund (PRF).
Nixon Peabody has already been representing clients involved in this process and is working with others who are preparing to respond to any inquiries. Also, in the rush to disburse funds, some agency actions are not authorized and may be challenged.
We absolutely recommend clients seek legal advice if they receive inquiries from the government, or their lender, regarding any pandemic relief funds. This is critical because there may be limited opportunities to include information, which clients need to use in their own defense, into the administrative record for consideration. In addition, NP helps clients create robust compliance systems and address any possible issues before an inquiry.
In a recent roundtable discussion, Nixon Peabody attorneys shared best practices for clients receiving CARES Act funds:
For more information, I recommend watching our recent CARES Act compliance discussion.