Top Law, Accounting Firms Took Covid Aid Despite Billions in Revenue
Firms scooped up a combined $1.4B in PPP loans as Main Street struggled.
Democrat election advisor David Boies' firm took single biggest PPP loan.
News Release from OpenTheBooks.com
WASHINGTON – OpenTheBooks.com today announced new findings in its ongoing project of investigating possible COVID waste: many of the nation’s largest law and accounting firms were granted forgivable Paycheck Protection Program loans meant to help small businesses keep payroll flowing during the widespread pandemic shutdown. In examining the top 300 law and accounting firms respectively, their use of the program cost taxpayers roughly $1.4 billion according to the nonprofit spending watchdog.
All told, 126 of the top 300 “Big Law” firms in America took $809 million in forgivable Covid-aid through the Small Business Administration program; of the top 300 accounting firms, 237 of them took advantage of the loan program to the tune of $625 million.
On the law side, the single largest loan ($10.14 million) went to the firm led by David Boies, one of the top legal advisers consistently employed by Democratic candidates running for statewide and national offices. Boies Schiller Flexner LLP, which also at one time employed Hunter Biden, had the loan forgiven in 2021 despite $230 million in revenue that year.
In the 2020 and 2022 election cycles, employees of the firm gave over $750,000 in campaign contributions. The employees and partners kicked three-quarters of a million dollars in campaign donations -- primarily to Democratic candidates -- while cashing a $10 million taxpayer-funded PPP loan.
In an eye-popping example among accounting firms, the Guam office of Ernst & Young took a $750,000 loan. That’s even though the huge multinational corporation has over 365,000 employees worldwide and multibillion-dollar revenues that consistently grew during the pandemic (from $15.8 in 2019 to $17.6 billion in 2021).
The report contains more details of the top 10 largest loans in each industry, how the funds meant for payroll were used, and how much revenue these firms were concurrently collecting.
OpenTheBooks.com CEO & Founder Adam Andrzejewski released this statement:
“When you think about it, law and accounting firms are uniquely well-positioned to take advantage of legal loopholes and maximize benefits available to their clients under current statute. It should be no surprise, then, that huge national outfits managed to secure taxpayer dollars not just to pay staff, but also to pay rent, interest on mortgages and more. As they were leveraging every tax dollar available to them, many of their revenue numbers continued to grow. It’s a stark contrast to what was happening to small businesses across the country, particularly in retail and hospitality, as they struggled to stay afloat. Did taxpayers, many of us economically strapped, really need to reach into our pockets for these firms doing colossal business?”