Business

Small trade loans above $2 million might be audited, Mnuchin says

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin said all loans of more than $2 million or more in a government relief program for small businesses will be audited to ensure they were justified after large public companies and big chains sparked outrage by taking funds.

Mnuchin said the loans of as much as $10 million meant to keep workers on payrolls under the Paycheck Protection Program were intended for small firms that lacked access to other capital, and the U.S. Small Business Administration will check that borrowers who took large loans properly certified it was needed because of the coronavirus outbreak.

“I want to be very clear it’s the borrowers who have criminal liability if they made this certification and it’s not true,” Mnuchin said Tuesday on CNBC.

Mnuchin said it was “outrageous” that the Los Angeles Lakers took a relief loan, and that it was inappropriate for other large public companies and big chains to get funding as well. A backlash has prompted companies including the Lakers to start returning the money.

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