New information about the Paycheck Protection Program beneficiaries is revealing it to be even more of a grift than previously imagined. While the program was beset from the beginning with headlines revealing major companies took up to $905 million intended for small businesses, a new report reveals that the corruption and mishandling of funds went all the way to the top. Properties belonging to Jared Kushner and President Donald Trump raked in $3.65 million in assistance from the convoluted aid program, according to NBC News.
A loan of $2,164,543 went to the Trump Tower-based restaurant group Triomphe. The company reported that no jobs were retained using the massive loan and shut down.
The Small Business Association released its data on who received what through their loan program earlier this month. It revealed many problems beyond the First Family. Among the more shocking revelations; 600 large companies took out the maximum allowed of $10 million. 300 companies exceeded the $10 million by applying for loans subsidiaries, in defiance of the rule that entities should be allowed one loan each. While the program touted itself as a salve for small businesses, less than 30% of the loans issued were for $150,000 or less.
“Many months and broken promises later, the court-ordered release of this crucial data while the Trump administration is one foot out the door is a shameful dereliction of duty and flagrant mismanagement of a program that millions of workers and small businesses needed to get through this pandemic,” Kyle Herrig of government accountability group Accountable.US shared in a statement. “Only now—after its hand has been forced, hundreds of thousands of small businesses have gone under and millions of taxpayer dollars were wasted—has this administration pulled back the curtains to reveal the malpractice going on behind the scenes.”
The news of Trump Organization loans comes just a day after news broke that the Trump administration may have accepted political contributions in exchange for presidential pardons. That allegation is currently under investigation by the Department of Justice.