Brunner Accounting Group filed a class action lawsuit in the United States District Court, Central District of California, on May 8, 2020 (case number 2:20-cv-04235) against a number of defendant-lenders. Plaintiffs are represented by Graylaw Group, Inc., and Dhillon Law Group Inc.
The named plaintiff is a sole proprietorship that allegedly provides tax and accounting services in Glendale, California. Plaintiff alleges that following the passage of the CARES Act, it served as agent for numerous small businesses applying for PPP loans and assisted these businesses gather and submit applications materials. Plaintiff contends the SBA regulations did not permit plaintiff to charge the businesses a fee for the application process and instead required that the lenders who processed SBA loans under the CARES Act provide compensation to agents such as plaintiff. Plaintiff also contends the SBA regulations provided a schedule of mandated fees for lenders and agents. Plaintiff alleges the defendant lenders have either refused to pay the agency fee schedule or only agreed to pay a partial percentage. The named plaintiff also seeks to represent a class of other agents that helped facilitate small business loans under the CARES Act (and who were not paid the agency fees plaintiff contends they are entitled to).
The complaint includes causes of action for declaratory relief, violation of California’s unfair competition law, and unjust enrichment. Plaintiff seeks $3,848,597,082 to be set aside by the defendant lenders for distribution to members of the class. This amount is based on the total approved PPP loans through April 16, 2020 (nationally) multiplied by 19.14%, a figure plaintiff derived by taking public data issued by the Department of Treasury for PPP loans issued and applying the fee schedule Plaintiff alleges is mandated to come up with a ratio of average agent fees to average lender fees.