The Justice Department announced new charges and progress in their investigation into Paycheck Protection Program fraud cases.
The department charged 57 people with PPP fraud. The program was approved through the Cares Act to help small businesses in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.
But the department says the defendants stole the taxpayer money to travel or purchase luxury items like cars and jewelry.
"PPP funds, as I mentioned earlier, were intended to help keep American businesses afloat. They were intended to help ordinary, everyday Americans pay their bills and put food on the table. I can assure you that they were not intended to help support fraudsters' dreams of owning Lamborghinis, Rolls Royces, Range Rovers, or diamonds," said Acting Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division Brian Rabbitt.
Federal officials called the crimes "white-collar matters" that cost the government over $70 million in losses and that the division is actively working to recover those losses.