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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.
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Miami Dolphins cornerback Xavien Howard was arrested for domestic battery following a fight with his fiancee over a purse that wasn't hers.
According to TMZ Sports, Howard, 26, and his fiancee fought over a purse Howard purchased that wasn't a Christmas gift for her.
His fiancee told police Howard grabbed her arms and pushed her against a mirrored wall in a bathroom of their Davie, Florida home.
Responding officers observed "visible scratches and redness on her arm" and "redness and an abrasion" on her right elbow.
Howard was charged with domestic battery and booked into the Broward County Jail, hours after the Dolphins upset the New England Patriots on Sunday. Howard had missed the game because of a knee injury, according to Fox News.
The Dolphins released a statement on Monday. "We are aware of the situation and currently gathering information," the Dolphins told ESPN. "We will have no further comment at this time."
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Former Oakland Raiders running back George Atkinson, III, 27, has died one year after his twin brother Josh Atkinson committed suicide.
George, who also played for the Cleveland Browns, is the son of Super Bowl champion George Atkinson II.
According to People magazine, the Athletic's Pete Sampson tweeted the news late Monday night. No cause of death was reported.
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George's death comes after his twin brother Josh committed suicide last Christmas. George and Josh played football for the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. They also excelled at track & field.
Josh was reportedly depressed after their mother died from complications of Crohn's disease. She was also diagnosed with Schizophrenia.
In an open letter written in October and published by The Unsealed, George opened up about his struggles grieving the loss of his mother and his twin brother.
Titled "How I Turned My Losses Into Lessons", George wrote that his brother felt guilty over their mom's death.
George said he was hospitalized on a mental ward for self-harm after his brother died.
"That's the moment I felt like I lost everything. That's the moment I can't describe," he wrote. "I never want you to feel his pain or my pain."
George said his 2-year-old daughter motivated him and gave him the will to live.
"I knew I had to find a way to keep going and be a role model for her," he wrote. "Without my daughter, I don't know where I would be right now. She gave me that second wind of motivation."