At least 26 local Boy Scout councils accused in multiple sex crimes have reportedly managed to receive loans of more than $20 million from the coronavirus relief fund aimed at supporting small businesses. The members represent a significant number of 101 Boy Scout councils who have been accused of several sex crimes across different states.
The news comes amid nationwide accusations against the Boy Scouts of America that it has failed to keep children from sexual abuse over the years. The Boy Scouts of America filed for bankruptcy in February stopped hundreds of child sexual abuse lawsuits from moving forward as the organization attempted to reach a settlement with victims. However, the bankruptcy doesn't prevent the Boy Scout councils from being sued as they are separately incorporated.
Injustice or Mistake?
The councils have managed to receive at least $8.2 million and up to $20.9 million in loans through the Paycheck Protection Program, according to government records, reported Vice News. The Paycheck Protection Program is a $660 billion federal initiative aimed at helping small businesses who were impacted due to the COVID-19 outbreak. The 26 councils represent a large percentage of the 101 Boys Scout who have multiple charges of sexual abuse spanning several states and decades.
Some of the alleged abuse took place as recently as 2018. Some lawsuits mention that sexual abuse occurred on a few occasions, while many claim that such offenses were repeatedly happening over decades.
What Made the Councils Eligible?
The wave of sexual abuse lawsuits compelled the Boy Scouts of America to file for bankruptcy in February, which stopped hundreds of child sexual abuse lawsuits immediately as the national organization tried to reach settlements with the victims. That didn't come as much of a help for the 261 regional Boy Scout councils from being sued as they are separately incorporated.
However, it worked in favor of them this time around. The application form of the Paycheck Protection Program mentions that organizations that are currently in bankruptcy won't get approval for the loan. The separation of the local Boy Scout councils from the Boy Scouts of America made these 26 councils eligible to apply for the money.
The 101 Boy Scout councils reportedly received a minimum of $28.7 million from the money through the Paycheck Protection Program and as much as $71.6 million from the initiative. It is also possible that several other Boy Scout councils facing similar charges of child sex abuse may have also received loans in smaller amounts from the program given that the Small Business Administration hasn't released the names of organizations that received loans of less than $150,000.