NFL player Josh Bellamy charged in alleged coronovirus relief loan scam

NFL receiver Josh Bellamy has been arrested for allegedly participating in a multi-million dollar paycheck protection program Loan fraud schemeThe Department of Justice announced on Thursday.

According to the Department of Justice, Bellamy, talent management company owner Philip J. Augustin and several others, together, applied for a combined PPP loan of more than $ 24 million. The department said that at least 42 of the requested loans were approved for $ 17.4 million. Bellamy allegedly obtained a loan of $ 1,246,565 for his company Drip Entertainment LLC.

He then allegedly used a loan to buy more than $ 100,000 on luxury goods from Dior, Gucci and various jewelers. Bellamy also alleges that more than $ 62,000 of loan money has been spent at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. The department also alleges that Bellamy attempted to secure PPP loans for his family members and “associates”.

The 31-year-old receiver, who was released by the Jets on Tuesday, is being charged with wire fraud, Conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud and bank fraud. Bellamy was arrested on Thursday and was scheduled to appear in court later in the day in Florida.

According to the criminal complaint, Bellamy had someone who is now cooperating in the criminal investigation to help prepare “false documents” and submit applications. This person was allegedly promised a part of the loan as payment for his help.

Josh Bellamy
Josh Bellamy in Philadelphia on October 6, 2019.

Matt Rourke / AP

The complaint also alleges that Bellamy and others submitted at least 90 fraudulent claims.

“To increase the size of these PPP loans, and related loopholes, the conspirators relied on a variety of false statements, including by submitting fake bank statements and payroll tax forms,” ​​the complaint reads. “For example, the conspirators used almost identical versions of the same concocted bank statement, recycled into PPP applications for many companies with minor changes.”

Bellamy has been in the NFL for eight years and played with the Kansas City Chiefs, the then San Diego Chargers, the Washington Football Team, the Chicago Bears, and most recently, the New York Jets. Bellamy had two receptions for 20 yards in 2019, and was also a member of the special teams unit. Bellamy was placed physically unable to list in early May 2020 and was released by the Jets on Tuesday.

Under the CARES Act, over $ 600 billion in excusable loans were freed for PPP. The purpose of the loans was Help small businesses retain employees And meet some other expenses during Coronavirus epidemic.