NFL player Josh Bellamy charged in $24M COVID relief loan scam

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Former New York Jets wide receiver Josh Bellamy was arrested Thursday for his alleged participation in $24 million scheme to defraud the U.S. Small Business Administration’s Paycheck Protection Program.

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Bellamy, 31, is accused of fraudulently obtaining a $1.2 million loan under the program, which was meant to provide forgivable financial relief to embattled businesses during the coronavirus pandemic. The NFL veteran allegedly obtained the loan for his company, Drip Entertainment LLC., and used the money for various personal expenses.

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The Justice Department said Bellamy allegedly purchased more than $104,000 in luxury goods from brands such as Gucci and Dior and withdrew another $302,000 in cash. Additionally, he is accused of spending some of the funds on a casino trip and filing fake claims on behalf of family members and friends.

Josh Bellamy #15 of the Chicago Bears warms up before the game against the Minnesota Vikings at U.S. Bank Stadium on December 30, 2018 in Minneapolis, Minnesota. (Photo by Hannah Foslien/Getty Images)

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Bellamy was slated to appear before a federal court in Florida on Thursday.

The criminal complaint accuses Bellamy of conspiring with 10 others to submit at least 90 fraudulent applications for financial assistance under the CARES Act program. The group filed applications worth more than $24 million and received more than $17 million, authorities said.

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An eight-year NFL veteran, Bellamy spent the 2019 season with the Jets, contributing primarily on special teams. The Jets released Bellamy from their reserve/physically unable to participate list earlier this week.

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