Times Journal editorial: Drug case points to P3 loan program | Editorial

ByRichard C. Sloan

Oct 31, 2021

This echoed a previous report from Pro Publica, a nonprofit newsroom, which found one such lender online, Kabbage, Inc., (which was one of the lenders of the Racine loans) sent 378 pandemic loans worth $ 7 million to fake businesses – mostly farms. “An entity classified as a cattle ranch, ‘Beefy King’, has been recorded in PPP records at the home address of Joe Mancini, the mayor of Long Beach Township (along the New Jersey coast)”, reported Pro Publica.

“There is no agriculture here: we are a sandbar for God’s sake,” Mancini said. The mayor said he had no cows in his house, only three dogs. The Center for Investigative Journalism said other apparently bogus farms that had secured P3 loans included potato farms in Palm Beach and orange groves in Minnesota.

This reporting partly led U.S. Representative James Clyburn, chairman of the select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis, to send letters to Kabbage, Inc. and three other Fin-Techs, seeking documents and information. on the management of their loans.

“I am deeply troubled by recent reports alleging that FinTech lenders and their banking partners have failed to properly screen PPP loan applications for fraud,” Clyburn wrote, “This failure may have led to millions dollars in PPP loans facilitated by Fin-Tech to fraudulent, non-existent or otherwise ineligible companies.

So, no, we wouldn’t be surprised if some of those millions in government ended up financially supporting a local cottage industry like cocaine trafficking. Now we’ll have to wait and see if they can connect the dots.