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Feds: Former Jets Player Took $1M+ From PPP Covid-19 Bailout Program

Feds: Former Jets Player Took $1M+ From PPP Covid-19 Bailout Program

New York Jets wide receiver Josh Bellamy runs a pass route as New England Patriots defensive back Jonathan Jones (31) gives chase in an NFL football game in Foxborough, Mass., Sept. 22, 2019.

NFL receiver Josh Bellamy was arrested Thursday in Florida and charged with allegedly participating in a multimillion-dollar Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan fraud scheme.

According to the Justice Department, Bellamy allegedly received a loan of  $1,246,565 for his company Drip Entertainment LLC. The PPP loans were guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. 

The loans were 100-percent forgivable if no employees were laid off or employees were rehired after being laid off.

Bellamy, along with talent management company owner Phillip J. Augustin and others were part of fraud schemes, the Justice Department said. They applied for PPP loans worth more than a combined $24 million. At least 42 of the requested loans were approved to the tune of some $17.4 million. Bellamy also allegedly attempted to secure PPP loans for his family members and “associates.” Eleven people were involved in the scheme.

It seems the 31-year-old receiver did not use the funds to pay employees or for company expenses. Instead, he allegedly used the loan to buy more than $100,000 on luxury goods from Dior, Gucci, and various jewelers, CBS News reported. Bellamy is also alleged to have spent more than $62,000 of the loan money at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.


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On June 2, Bellamy allegedly sent a wire transfer of $57,000 to a custom jewelry store. The next day, he allegedly sent a $38,000 wire transfer to another jewelry store. And, on June 8, Bellamy bought $5,381.60 in goods at a Gucci store and $1,020.98 at a Milano Exchange store. On June 14, Bellamy spent $2,014.80, Fox 23 reported.

Bellamy also allegedly withdrew more than $302,000 in fraudulent funds between May 28 and July 28, the Justice Department said.

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Bellamy, who was released by the Jets on Sept. 8 after being unable to physically perform in early May 2020, has been charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, according to the criminal complaint. The fraud occurred this year between May 21 and Aug. 3.

“To inflate the size of these PPP loans, and the corresponding kickbacks, the conspirators relied on a variety of false statements, including by submitting falsified bank statements and payroll tax forms,” the complaint states. “For example, the conspirators used nearly identical versions of the same fabricated bank statements, recycled in the PPP applications for multiple companies with minor changes.”

During his NFL eight-year career, Bellamy has played with the Kansas City Chiefs, the then-San Diego Chargers, the Washington Football Team, the Chicago Bears, and the New York Jets.