FACT CHECK: Did Matt Gaetz Have $482K In PPP Loans Forgiven Even Though He Doesn’t Own A Business?

Christine Sellers | Fact Check Reporter

A post shared on Facebook purports Florida Republican Rep. Matt Gaetz allegedly received $482,000 in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan forgiveness even though he “doesn’t own a business.”

Verdict: Misleading

Gaetz owned a share of the company, Caregivers, Inc., which received the $482,000 in PPP loan forgiveness. A Gaetz spokesperson told Check Your Fact that the company has since been sold, and Gaetz “retains no interest therein” via email.

Fact Check:

Gaetz expressed uncertainty leading to a vote to remove Democratic Minnesota Rep. Ilhan Omar from the Foreign Affairs Committee for comments that were seen as anti-Semitic, according to Fox News. The Florida lawmaker did vote to remove Omar from the committee, according to the House Clerk.

“Matt Gaetz opposes student loan forgiveness. Matt Gaetz had $482k in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans forgiven. Matt Gaetz doesn’t own a business,” the post claims. A similar post on Twitter garnered over 340 retweets.

The claim is misleading. ProPublica records revealed Caregivers, Inc., a Florida-based company that provides home health care services, received $482,321 in PPP loan forgiveness in April 2020. The company received $475,932 to use for payroll purposes and had $482,321, which includes any accrued interest, forgiven, the records show.

A financial disclosure form Gaetz filed with the Clerk of the House of Representatives in 2021 indicated he owned between $100,001 and $250,000 of corporate stock in the company in 2020. Gaetz’s family members were previously in charge of the company.

“Congressman Gaetz used to be a shareholder of Caregivers Inc., a company that provided caregiving services, principally to seniors and the disabled,” a Gaetz spokesperson told Check Your Fact via email.

“Those who care for the vulnerable should not have had to go without pay during the pandemic solely because they worked for a company partially owned by a congressman. The company has since sold, and Congressman Gaetz retains no interest therein,” the spokesperson said.

There are no credible news reports suggesting Gaetz received PPP loan forgiveness or had received a loan under his own name only. (RELATED: Did Matt Gaetz Reveal New Documents That Implicated Jerry Nadler?)

This is not the first time PPP loans have been the subject of misinformation online. Check Your Fact previously debunked a claim suggesting conservative political commentator Ben Shapiro also received PPP loan forgiveness.

Christine Sellers

Fact Check Reporter