LANSING, Mich. (WLNS) — Two state educational nonprofits are parting with a handsome amount of money after allegedly filing for loans that both the nonprofits were ineligible for.
The Michigan Education Association (MEA) and the Michigan Education Special Services Association (MESSA) are paying a combined total of $225,887 for the alleged violation of the False Claims Act.
The DOJ said that both organizations “knew or should have known” that they were considered ineligible for loans under the Paycheck Protection Program.
“The PPP was intended to provide critical economic relief to eligible small businesses and other entities,” said Principal Deputy Assistant Attorney General Brian M. Boynton, head of the Justice Department’s Civil Division. “This settlement reflects the department’s commitment to ensuring the integrity of the PPP loan process.”
In addition to the alleged knowledge that the nonprofits were not eligible, the Small Business Administration had to pay lender fees to the bank that processed the loans for the two organizations.
MEA will pay $115,265 and MESSA will pay $110,622 to the United States to resolve these allegations.
The filing occurred in 2020, and the settlement resolved a lawsuit filed by the Mackinac Center for Public Policy under the whistleblower or qui tam provision of the FCA.