More than half of the money from the Paycheck Protection Program went to just 5% of recipients

US President Trump signs the Paycheck Protection Program and Health Care Enhancement Act at the White House in Washington in response to the coronavirus disease outbreak
Over half of the funds from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) went to just 5% of all recipients.
In the past, Republicans have said the program worked as intended, but banks reported record-breaking suspicions of business loan fraud in June and July.
The program has been fraught with problems including fraud and large companies receiving funds.
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More than half of the funds from the U.S. paycheck protection program went to just 5% of recipients, according to new data released by the Treasury Department on Tuesday.
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Around 600 large corporations, including dozens of national chains, were given the $ 10 million maximum allowed under the program, according to the Washington Post, which had to file a lawsuit to get the data over a Freedom of Information Act request. Law firms and churches also received the maximum amount.
Treasury and Small Business Administration officials previously said the program worked as intended, with 87% of total loans totaling $ 150,000 or less. However, the new data shows that only 28% of the $ 552 billion distributed was for smaller loans.
The program was originally designed to help small businesses pay their employees after the coronavirus pandemic led to mass layoffs in March. The loans could also be granted (if they meet certain criteria), which makes them especially useful for companies that weren't sure about their repayment ability.
The PPP has been estimated to help save between 1.4 and 3.2 million jobs, but it has been plagued by fraud and other problems.
Read more: The winners of the next round of federal aid funds will be airlines, restaurants and companies owned by women or people of color. Here's what you can expect in the coming months.
A Florida man was charged in July of spending $ 3.9 million in the program on a Lamborghini and other lavish items.
In September House Democrats sent a memo saying the PPP was vulnerable to "fraud, waste or abuse" as normal oversight was lifted to get loans out earlier. In the same month, banks released a report that found suspicions of business loan fraud increased in both June and July when PPP loans were granted.
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