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As we have covered in recent months, the federal government’s Paycheque Protection Program (P3P) – a critical part of the Trump administration’s program CARES Law which launched in early April and expired August 8 – was a mixed bag. It has distributed billions in loans to small businesses that have helped thousands of businesses rehire employees and cut the national unemployment rate by nearly half from the peak of 14.7% reached in May. But it also disproportionately benefited companies that were already comfortable with big banks and had the resources to exploit the flexibility of PPP (for example, big hotel chains like Omni spreading out millions by individual location. ). Additionally, concerns about the loan’s cancellation helped keep $ 130 billion of its total prize pool unclaimed. And that’s without getting into the massive (looking at you, Starbucks) franchises that wet their beaks, only to return the millions raised after the media shame (see “Related” link below).
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Most disconcerting is the constant beating of the headlines denouncing PPP scammers. Dozens of individuals and entities have been reported by the Justice Department for deliberately manipulating PPP guidelines for their own purposes, embezzling allocated funds, or both. But yesterday, just hours before the 2020-21 NFL season kicked off, the DOJ caused a stir in announcing that wide receiver free agent Josh Bellamy (most recently New York Jets) was dismantled as part of a multi-party conspiracy to defraud the $ 24 million P3 program.
According to the ministry press release, Bellamy, talent manager Phillip J. Augustin and several others were complicit in submitting bogus applications on behalf of companies such as Bellamy’s Drip Entertainment LLC, as well as soliciting bribes. -of-wine for their efforts. Bellamy reportedly spent nearly $ 200,000 of his more than $ 1.2 million on luxury goods and an outing at a Hard Rock Casino and Hotel in Florida. The statement does not specify whether Bellamy maintained social distancing while allegedly playing government money.
Bellamy, 31, faces charges of wire fraud, bank fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud. We will update this story as more information becomes available.
Kenny Herzog is currently Director of Digital Content at Entrepreneur Media. Previously, he was the editor or editor of several online and print publications, and contributed his signing to outlets such as Rolling Stone, New York Magazine / Vulture, Esquire, The Ringer, Men’s Health, TimeOut New York, AV Club, Men’s Journal, Mic, Mel, Nylon and many more.