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Press Release

Company that improperly took COVID 19 PPP loan agrees to pay nearly $1 million to settle False Claims Act case

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Washington
Docklight Brands was ineligible for Small Business Administration loan due to involvement with federally illegal cannabis businesses

Seattle –Brands LLC, has agreed to pay $989,438 to the United States to resolve allegations the company improperly obtained a Paycheck Protection Loan from the U.S. Small Business Administration. Docklight Brands develops and sells hemp derived products, and licenses certain marks for use in connection with state-licensed cannabis products. A False Claims Act qui tam lawsuit originally brought by relator Sidesolve LLC, alleged that the company was ineligible for the federal loan program because of its involvement with cannabis businesses that remain illegal under federal law.

According to the settlement, Sidesolve filed the qui tam case in September 2022, alleging that Docklight had falsely certified that it was eligible for a $494,719 Paycheck Protection Program loan. The Small Business Administration program allows the loan amount to be forgiven.

“Those seeking vital assistance from SBA’s pandemic response programs must comply with the requirements,” said SBA OIG’s Western Region Special Agent in Charge Weston King. “Today’s settlement sends a strong message of accountability. I want to thank the U.S. Attorney’s office and our law enforcement partners for their support and dedication to pursuing justice in this case.”

Under the terms of the settlement, Docklight has agreed to pay back double the amount of the loan, with the additional $494,719 as penalties. Under the qui tam statute, the relator receives a percentage of the settlement for bringing the false claims matter to the government’s attention. In this case Sidesolve LLC will receive $148,416.70 of the settlement funds.

The matter was handled for the United States Attorney’s Office by Assistant United States Attorney Matt Waldrop with investigative assistance from SBA-OIG.


Press contact for the U.S. Attorney’s Office is Communications Director Emily Langlie at (206) 553-4110 or

Updated March 11, 2024

False Claims Act