NFL wide receiver Josh Bellamy is among 57 people charged with Covid-19 relief fraud after FBI officials say he misused PPP funds to buy Gucci and other high end luxury goods.
The Paycheck Protection Program is part of the $2 trillion Cares Act, which provided $349 billion in PPP loans to struggling small businesses amid the coronavirus pandemic via the Small Business Association (SBA).
The FBI says Bellamy participated in a scheme to fleece the federal government out of $24 million in Paycheck Protection funds.
Bellamy, 31, was cut by the NY Jets 2 days ago. It isn't clear if his termination is linked to his arrest.
Prosecutors say Bellamy and his associates applied for $24 million in PPP funds for their businesses. They received $17.4 million - but neither Bellamy nor his associates used the money for their businesses.
Instead, Bellamy spent $95,000 on custom jewelry, $5,381 at Gucci and $2,014 at Dior. He also dropped more than $62,000 during a recent trip to the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, TMZ reported.
Authorities say Bellamy recruited others to apply for giant loans using false information -- then took kickbacks from each borrower.
Bellamy owns Drip Entertainment - an events promotion company - that hasn't been active since 2019.
Bank records show Bellamy withdrew large amounts of cash - around $302,000 between May and July 2020.
If convicted on all charges, Bellamy faces decades in prison.