At the time of the epidemic, the Federal Paycheck Protection Program, which provided more than $ 800 billion in unforgiving loans to US businesses, was under the direct control of community banks and lenders.

Jay Wood, director of small business management in the United States, South Dakota, entrusted the SBA with most of the PPP applications to credit lenders who process and distribute loans. In many cases, those lenders had previous dealings with borrowers who sometimes received large sums of money.

Lenders say they are responsible for ensuring that the applicant has a large number of employees, where the business is located and that it is legally registered, among other things.

Jaime Wood

“We are relying heavily on the input provided by community lenders,” Wood said. Many businesses are affiliated with these lenders.

PPP loans are designed to help businesses continue to pay staff and other costs during the epidemic. Loans will be forgiven if the money is found to be used for the purposes described in the PPP application.

The October 11 South Dakota news inquiry raised questions about whether the business, owned by Chris Cammack, the son of Senate Majority Leader Gary Kammak, operates in South Dakota and whether there were workers at the time of the outbreak. Chris Cammack has applied for more than $ 300,000 in PPP loan from Prey Mountain Wildlife Studio.

Chris Cammack did not respond to calls and emails for the October 11 article comment and did not return calls or emails for comment.

According to SBA records on Federalpay.org, the Preyry Mountain Studios at the Union Center, which has a loan of 153,600 pp to secure 10 jobs in 2019 with a salary of $ 737,280.

The business at the Union Center received a second PPP loan of $ 161,417 in January 2021, as well as 10 jobs to maintain. Both loans are designed to cover wage costs, the records show.

Meanwhile, Chris Cammack’s business, PM Wildlife Studios in Cyprus, Texas, reported SBA records to cover payroll, utilities and mortgage interest in April 2020. That loan was to secure 25 jobs with an annual salary of $ 1.16 million.

PM Wildlife Studios in Texas then received a second PPP loan in January of $ 1.16 million to cover 271,600 salaries for 27 jobs.

In South Dakota, In two rounds of PPP loans in 2020 and 2021, nearly 300 SBA-approved lenders provided more than $ 64,000 in loans worth $ 2.7 billion. Nationally, the now-completed PPP program has nearly 12 million loans worth $ 803 billion in 2020-21.

The SBA regional authority said it could not discuss PPP loans made to Kamak or any other individual.

Chris Chavez, a spokesman for the Denver Regional SBA Office, said the SBA would take any complaints about fraud. Chavez said in an email to News that anyone who suspected of SBA fraud wanted to hear about the PPP program.

“SBA takes fraud seriously, and, as such, all applicants are required to provide certificates of eligibility on the application,” Chavez said. “Disqualification is illegal, and if necessary, these cases will be referred to the Office of the Inspector General. The Office of the Inspector General and the Federal Partnership Agency are working diligently to address fraud. / Encourages him to visit fraud.

Chris Kamak is under investigation and has not been charged with any crime.

Chris Cammack’s business in Texas, PM Wildlife Studios, received more than $ 480,000 in pPP loans in 2020 and 2021, while business in South Dakota, Pryri Mountain Wildlife Studio, received two PPP loans worth more than $ 300,000. . Photo Dead Bart Pumpkins, South Dakota News View

A number of criminal offenses, including criminal fraud, have been reported in the PPP program by federal officials.

According to Arnold and Porter, who are following Covid’s aid scam, several PPP scam cases are pending across the country. In one case, a Delaware woman was accused of increasing her income and employees in her business to get $ 246,000 in PPP loans. In another case, a Tennessee man was charged with raising $ 6 million in PPP loans to increase the company’s income and employees and misappropriate PPP funds to buy a house and car.

Dear SBA Director in South Dakota, she said she would not be involved in screening applications or directly participating in PPP loans. He declined to comment directly on Chris Cammack’s loan, but said it was not uncommon for a business owner to live in one state and for businesses to qualify for a PPP loan in another state.

First Dakota National Bank was one of the lenders of both PPP loans to the Kamak business in South Dakota and one of the PPP loans offered to businesses in Texas. First Dakota is based in Yankee, SD, and has branches in several South Dakota cities.

First Dakota’s chief credit officer, Dave Croll, said the company had raised more than $ 4 million in PPP loans, totaling more than $ 200 million.

Carol says privacy laws prevent him from talking about any particular loan or application.

Dave Croll

According to Carol, First Dakota is proud of its efforts to provide loans to businesses during the epidemic. Working with the rapidly changing PPP rules and the demand for cash distribution has been a difficult time for lenders.

Carol is all about PPP. He said applicants are required to submit business, operation and employment documents. In general, if the correct documents are provided, Dakota first approves the loans and distributes the federal funds.

“Because of the nature of the program, we followed suit,” said Carol. “If they provided everything we needed, we would certainly not have prevented them from accessing the PPP program.”

Carol was initially comfortable with PPP loans in Dakota because the bank adheres to the rules of the program and, in part, knows many of its PPP clients in the past.

“In general, First Dakota does business with people we know in South Dakota,” Croll said. “It was still a manual process, and I feel good when we do our due diligence in reviewing the required PPP documents.”

Carol: Lenders and applicants in the PPP program generally know that most loan information is open to the public, just like any other government program.