WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senators Olympia J. Snowe (R-Maine) and Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), the ranking members of the Senate Committee on Small Business Entrepreneurship and the Senate Judiciary Committee respectively, are seeking an explanation from the Department of Justice (DOJ) as to why 17 cases of fraud and abuse determined by the Inspector General of the Small Business Administration (SBA IG) have gone unprosecuted.  According to a summary released by the SBA IG, DOJ has refused to pursue 17 cases deemed significant enough to be passed on to the Department between October 2010 and March 2011.  All of these cases involved serious crimes such as theft, embezzlement, conspiracy, counterfeiting, corruption, and bank fraud.

In a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder, Senators Snowe and Grassley asserted, “As the economy continues to struggle and unemployment again rises above nine percent, it is vital the SBA’s mission is not compromised by fraud.  With this in mind, it is imperative that DOJ become engaged to protect the SBA’s program integrity.  Every possible loss recovery must be attempted, and crimes against the SBA and the American taxpayer must be prosecuted.”

Senators Snowe and Grassley requested a response to their inquiry from DOJ no later than June 24.  A copy of the letter and a list of unprosecuted cases identified by the SBA IG may be accessed below.