The Small Business Administration has been forgiving pandemic relief loans issued to insurrectionists who stormed the Capitol on Jan. 6.
The loans were issued under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was part of the $2 trillion CARES Act signed by former president Donald Trump in March 2020. The PPP program was designed to cover payroll for small businesses, which could apply to have the loans forgiven if they could show that the money was used for intended purposes.
"Amazingly, some of the people who received the money responded, less than a year later, by attempting to kill the very legislators who put the program in place—the ones who kept their businesses afloat and employees able to survive," the Daily Dot reported Wednesday. "But the government is forgiving them anyway. In a review of PPP data obtained from ProPublica, the Daily Dot discovered many well-known Capitol insurrectionists have had their loans forgiven, some being absolved of nearly a million dollars in funds."
Dominic Pezzola, a member of the Proud Boys, had a $12,502 loan for his home-contracting business forgiven in June despite that fact that he remains incarcerated, having been denied bail.
Russell Taylor, a member of the Three Percenters, received two loans totaling more than $1 million for his graphic design company. One of the loans was issued after the insurrection, and both have been forgiven.
George Pierre Tanios allegedly assaulted officer Brian Sicknick, who died from stroke a day after the insurrection. One day after Sicknick's death, on Jan. 8, Tanios had a $52,110 loan for his West Virginia sandwich shop forgiven.
"Other high-profile insurrectionists at the Capitol that day also received loan forgiveness," the Daily Dot reported. "That includes Dr. Simone Gold, who spreads misinformation about COVID-19 and received $20,833, and Trump booster Brandon Straka, who received two loans totaling $33,154."
According to the SBA, people who are incarcerated or under indictment for felonies are barred from applying for PPP loans. However, there is no such restriction when it comes to seeking forgiveness for the loans.