FACT CHECK: Did Political Commentator Ben Shapiro Have His PPP Loan Forgiven?

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook claims political commentator Ben Shapiro had his Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiven.

Verdict: False

The Shapiro listed in the database is of a real estate broker in Los Angeles. Shapiro denied the loan was his.

Fact Check:

The White House recently called out Republican lawmakers, including Georgia Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, for criticizing President Joe Biden’s student loan cancellation plan while having their PPP loans cancelled, according to CBS News. PPP loans were part of a policy to fund businesses to protect them from COVID-19 pandemic-related economic losses, the Small Business Association states.

The Facebook post claims Shapiro had a PPP loan forgiven. A similar iteration of the claim appeared on Twitter featuring a screenshot that purportedly shows Shapiro took out a loan for $20,832 and had $21,079 forgiven.

“While people are upset about student loan forgiveness… Let’s point out that Ben Shapiro took out a $20,000 PPP loan and had $21,000 of it forgiven,” reads the post’s caption. “Let’s not act like this is about what will burden the American taxpayer and call it what it really is! Hypocrisy!”

The loan was given to a different Ben Shapiro. A search of ProPublica’s PPP shows Shapiro’s company, Bentkey Ventures, LLC, did not have a loan forgiven. In reality, the individual who received the loan is a different Ben Shapiro, who is a real estate agent based in Los Angeles who “specializes in luxury residential homes, condos and investment properties.”

The political commentator then shared a statement on his Twitter account, denying that he had a PPP loan forgiven. (RELATED: Did Lauren Boebert’s Restaurant Receive A $233,305 PPP Loan?)

“The internet is a place filled with stupid and dishonest people. So, for example, TruthOrFiction.com and half the Left-wing blue checks — are saying I took PPP money. This is a lie,” Shapiro’s tweet reads.

“So they found a person named Ben Shapiro who applied for and received a loan in Los Angeles in 2021. Here’s the full screenshot — notice the same amount,” he added, referencing the screenshot from ProPublica. “As you may know, I am not a real estate agent or broker.”

The claim appeared to originate from an article by Uproxx, which the outlet has since corrected.

“We deeply regret the error on our part and have amended the text of this post, and its headline, in an effort to correct any and all inaccuracies,” the correction read in part.

Check Your Fact has reached out to Shapiro for comment and will update this piece accordingly if one is received.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter