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Morris County company settles matter alleging it received improper Paycheck Protection Program loan

PARSIPPANY-TROY HILLS, NJ (Morris County) – A Morris County public relations firm entered into a settlement agreement with the United States resolving allegations that the company violated the False Claims Act by taking a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to which the company was not entitled, according to U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger.

Congress created the PPP in March 2020, as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, to provide emergency financial support to the millions of Americans suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. The CARES Act authorized billions of dollars in forgivable loans to small businesses struggling to pay employees and other business expenses, Sellinger said.

According to the allegations in the complaint and the contentions of the United States in the settlement agreement, Coyne Public Relations LLC (Coyne), located in Parsippany-Troy Hills, knowingly applied for and received a PPP loan totaling $2 million, even though it was ineligible for such a loan because it was a required registrant under the Foreign Agent Registration Act (FARA). Coyne thereafter sought and received forgiveness of the total amount of the loan.

Coyne fully cooperated in the investigation and resolution of this matter. In accordance with the terms of the settlement Coyne agrees to pay the United States $2.24 million. The settlement resolves a lawsuit filed under the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act, which permits private parties, called relators, to file suit on behalf of the United States for false claims and share in a portion of the government’s recovery. In this matter, the relator is receiving $203,183 as his share in the recovery.

Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form at

Jay Edwards

Born and raised in Northwest NJ, Jay has a degree in Communications and has had a life-long interest in local radio and various styles of music. Jay has held numerous jobs over the years such as stunt car driver, bartender, voice-over artist, traffic reporter (award winning), NY Yankee maintenance crewmember and peanut farm worker. His hobbies include mountain climbing, snowmobiling, cooking, performing stand-up comedy and he is an avid squirrel watcher. Jay has been a guest on America’s Morning Headquarters,program on The Weather Channel, and was interviewed by Sam Champion.

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