NFL player Josh Bellamy was arrested Thursday on charges that he fraudulently obtained a loan through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), the Justice Department announced.
Bellamy is accused of being part of a scheme to obtain $24 million from the PPP, a program established by Congress in March that provides forgivable loans to small businesses impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.
Authorities said the New York Jets wide receiver obtained $1.2 million in forgivable loans for his company, Drip Entertainment LLC. According to prosecutors Bellamy used $104,000 of the PPP loan to purchase luxury goods at retailers such as Dior and Gucci and another $62,774 at Seminole Hard Rock Hotel in Florida.
The scheme Bellamy is accused of being part of allegedly involved at least 90 fraudulent applications. Bellamy was one of 11 people charged Thursday, and collectively the defendants are accused of fraudulently receiving $24 million, of which $17.4 million was paid out by financial institutions.
Bellamy is one of several business owners who have been charged by federal prosecutors for obtaining PPP loans fraudulently.
Democrats on the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis said last week that more than $3 billion in loans issued through the coronavirus emergency relief program for small businesses may have gone to firms that already received support or should have been excluded from the program.