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NFL player allegedly spent $1.2M of PPP loans at Gucci store and casino

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Photo credit: Shutterstock.com / Ana Aguirre Perez

NFL player Josh Bellamy will be headed to the courthouse instead of the football field this season. The wide receiver who was last signed to the New York Jets was allegedly involved in a (Paycheck Protection Program) PPP loan scam, according to ESPN.

Bellamy reportedly received $1.2 million in PPP loans for his company, Drip Entertainment, LLC. But instead of using the funds to cover his payroll, he allegedly used the money to buy expensive items and gamble.

He allegedly purchased over $104,000 in luxury goods at Dior, Gucci, and jewelers. And he reportedly spent approximately $62,774 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. The Justice Department also said that he attempted to get other friends and family members involved in the attempts to secure more loans which included 90 fraudulent applications seeking $24 million in PPP loans. Over $17 million was approved.

Bellamy, who resides in St. Petersburgh, Florida, was arrested on Sept. 11 and charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud.

He was also cut by the New York Jets.

The CARES Act is a federal law enacted on March 29, 2020, designed to provide emergency financial assistance to the millions of Americans who are suffering the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.  One source of relief provided by the CARES Act was the authorization of up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other expenses, through the PPP.  In April 2020, Congress authorized over $300 billion in additional PPP funding, according to the Department of Justice.