Former Jets Receiver Josh Bellamy Gets Three Years for PPP Fraud
(Bloomberg) -- Former New York Jets wide receiver Josh Bellamy was sentenced to 37 months in prison for fraudulently obtaining more than $1.2 million in U.S. pandemic relief funds and using it to buy jewelry and stay at a hotel-casino.
Bellamy, 32, pleaded guilty to the charges against him in June. Federal prosecutors in Miami said the National Football League veteran falsified documents to get the loan and later admitted to using the money on personal expenses and a kickback to an associate who helped prepare the loan application.
In addition to his prison term, he was ordered to repay the Paycheck Protection Program loans. Lawyers for Bellamy didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment on his sentence.
Bellamy, a nine-year NFL player who also spent five seasons with the Chicago Bears, was released by the Jets last year shortly before he was charged in the loan scam. He was charged in a group of 11 defendants who allegedly conspired to apply for loans totaling $24 million, of which the U.S. says they received more than $17 million.
Bank transactions cited in Bellamy’s indictment include several large cash withdrawals and payments to custom jewelry stores. Bellamy spent more than $62,000 at the Seminole Hard Rock Casino and Hotel alone, the U.S. said.
He applied for the loan in the name of an inactive Florida company he founded in 2018 called Drip Entertainment, which was administratively dissolved the following year after it failed to file an annual report, prosecutors said. They said his loan application cited 47 employees and quarterly payroll expenses of $1.5 million.
According to the indictment, when asked by an undercover agent how many employees his company had, Bellamy said, “I got as many employees as I want.”
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