Former NFL star allegedly obtained millions of dollars in fraudulent PPP loans

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Former New York Jets wide receiver Josh Bellamy was arrested Thursday for his alleged role in a $ 24 million Covid-19 relief plan, the US Department of Justice said Thursday.The lawsuit says Bellamy, along with 10 other defendants, allegedly requested Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans through at least 90 fraudulent requests totaling more than $ 24 million. Many of these requests were approved, paying at least $ 17.4 million, according to the Justice Department statement.

For example, the Department of Justice alleges that the 31-year-old former NFL player obtained a $ 1.2 million PPP loan for his company Drip Entertainment LLC, but used the funds for articles luxury and trips to the casino.

According to the statement, Bellamy would have purchased more than $ 104,000 worth of luxury goods from Dior, Gucci and various jewelers with the proceeds of the PPP loan. He also reportedly spent around $ 62,774 on the loan at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. Bellamy is said to have withdrawn more than $ 302,000 in cash.

In addition, Bellamy is said to have applied for PPP loans on behalf of family members and close associates, the statement said.

Bellamy has been charged with wire fraud, bank fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud in the Southern District of Florida.

Diego Weiner, an attorney for Bellamy, told CNBC Make It he was still “very early” in the case and Bellamy “is a good and decent man, presumed innocent by our laws.”

We hope the public will give it the benefit of the doubt right now. Too often, professional athletes are exploited by people who purportedly act on their behalf as agents or advisers. We will all know more as we go. progressing, ”Weiner said.

Bellamy was released by the New York Jets on Tuesday after a shoulder injury put him on the unable to play list. According to ESPN, the Jets were not aware of his arrest at the time of release, a source said.

Bellamy played seven seasons in the NFL. Last year, he signed a two-year, $ 5 million contract with the Jets.

This story has been updated to include a statement from Bellamy’s attorney Diego Weiner.

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