Ex-NFL Star Gets Three Years for #COVID19 Fraud
A former NFL player has become the latest in a long line of individuals sent down for defrauding a US government COVID-19 relief scheme.
Joshua Bellamy, 32, of St. Petersburg, Florida, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud back in June, and was sentenced on Friday to 37 months in a federal prison.
He fraudulently obtained $1.2m via a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the US Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
Bellamy submitted false documents to the SBA related to his company Drip Entertainment and then spent some of the money on jewelry and a stay at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. He is said to have paid $300,000 as a kickback to co-conspirator James Stote, who apparently helped to prepare and submit the fraudulent application.
As with many similar cases of COVID-19 fraud, Bellamy reportedly lied about the number of employees working at his company and other payroll information.
The former Chicago Bears and New York Jets wide receiver was also ordered to serve three years of supervised released and pay $1.2m in restitution and the same