With the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) decision to drop charges against Michael Flynn, materiality has come to the forefront of popular legal discourse. At the same time, prosecutors and whistleblowers will carefully consider enforcement/false claims actions against entities who may have wrongfully received relief funds under the Coronavirus Aid, Recovery, and Economic Stability Act (CARES Act). Such actions will likely turn on whether alleged misrepresentations were materially false. Those applying for CARES Act funds, such as those under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), must ensure all of their representations and certifications are truthful. However, those accused of making misrepresentations in order to receive government funds may find refuge in a more narrow view of the materiality requirement.
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