A former National Football League (NFL) player was sentenced today to 37 months in federal prison for fraudulently obtaining over $1.2 million through a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
According to court documents, Joshua J. Bellamy, 32, of St. Petersburg, Florida, a former NFL player, pleaded guilty on June 9 in the Southern District of Florida to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. As part of the fraud scheme, Bellamy obtained a PPP loan of $1,246,565 for his company, Drip Entertainment LLC, using falsified documents and false information.
Bellamy admitted to using the PPP loan proceeds on personal items, such as jewelry, and a stay at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.
Bellamy also sought PPP loans on behalf of his family members and close associates. Bellamy further admitted that he paid more than $311,000 to an alleged co-conspirator, James Stote, as a kickback for his assistance in preparing and submitting the fraudulent loan application.
In addition to his prison sentence, Bellamy was ordered to serve three years of supervised released and pay $1,246,565 in restitution and $1,246,565 in forfeiture.
In addition, a Florida woman was sentenced on Dec. 9 to two years in federal prison for fraudulently obtaining a PPP loan as part of this criminal scheme.
According to court documents, Yashica Bain, 38, of Miramar, Florida, pleaded guilty on Sept. 30 in the Southern District of Florida to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
As part of the fraud scheme, Bain obtained a PPP loan of $415,232 for her company, Microblading Brow Studio LLC, using falsified documents and false information.
Bain used the PPP loan proceeds to enrich herself and others who never worked for her company. She falsely described those payments as “payroll” and “wages” to perpetrate this fraud. Bain admitted that she paid more than $28,000 to Stote as a kickback for his assistance in preparing and submitting the fraudulent loan application.
In addition to her prison sentence, Bain was ordered to serve three years of supervised released and pay $415,232 in restitution and $415,232 in forfeiture.
Stote was charged by complaint on June 24, 2020, with wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud. His case remains pending.
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