NFL Player Adds PPP Fraud to His Record

Last week, the Justice Department (DOJ) announced it is investigating ‘several hundred’ coronavirus-related loan fraud cases, potentially costing taxpayers tens of millions of dollars. One of those cases includes former New York Jets wide receiver Josh Bellamy, who is one of the eleven defendants charged for alleged participation in a $24 million Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) fraud scheme.   

As PPP fraud cases come to light across the country, a new frontier of corruption arises amidst Main Street Lending Program (MSLP) recipients with links to Trump allies and donors. This development comes as a new Goldman Sachs survey found that Black business owners face a longer path to recovery and need additional stimulus aid.


PPP FRAUD ROUNDUP

AXIOS Vitals 9/8 | “Over 100,000 Americans have collectively reported roughly $132 million in fraud losses from scams related to the coronavirus and government stimulus checks since the March start of the pandemic, according to Federal Trade Commission.”  

Politico | DOJ investigating ‘several hundred’ small business loan fraud cases 

Action News Jax | Florida man bought $700K boat with PPP money, prosecutors say 

Miami Herald | Copycat websites, newly minted companies, double-dippers cashed in on PPP loans 

“A suspicious online university whose curriculum appears to be cut and pasted from a European school, two companies with nearly identical websites and two others with practically no internet presence — all five of these businesses are connected to the same Texas man. And all five received Paycheck Protection Program loans for a total of at least $3.65 million.”  

WKBW-TV | Two brothers charged with $7 million COVID-relief fraud scheme 

Truthout | Trump Admin’s Small Business Bailout Has Been Plagued by Waste, Fraud and Abuse 

“The Trump administration failed to design and implement a program that would help actual small businesses and their workers,” said Kyle Herrig, president of Accountable.US. “Instead, they cut corners and kept the American people in the dark. In the end, the wealthy and well-connected were showered with our tax dollars and fraudsters took advantage of the troubling lack of transparency.” 


BUSINESSES IN COMMUNITIES OF COLOR CONTINUE TO BE LEFT BEHIND

Buffalo News | Report: PPP loan program shortchanged Buffalo’s Black neighborhoods 

“The federal government’s main effort to rescue small businesses during the pandemic tended to benefit wealthier neighborhoods far more than predominantly Black parts of metro Buffalo, according to a new study by a group that researches federal policy and its implications nationwide.”  

Business Insider | Black business owners face longer path to recovery and greater need for stimulus, Goldman Sachs survey finds 

Michigan Advance | Watchdog: Detroit-anchored congressional districts ‘shortchanged’ in PPP loans 

Axios | Small businesses losing confidence in survival 

@Accountable.US | “Buffalo was one of many communities across the US where federal loans flowed to white neighborhoods while leaving Black neighborhoods behind. This is a failure — Congress should ensure that pandemic relief goes to those who need it the most.” [View Tweet]  


PPP RECIPIENTS INCLUDE YOUTUBERS AND NFL PLAYERS 

Bloomberg Law | Jets Wide Receiver Charged in $24 Million PPP Fraud Scheme 

“The professional football player is accused of obtaining a PPP loan for $1.2 million for his company Drip Entertainment LLC. Bellamy is accused of using the funds to purchase jewelry and spend $62,774 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino” 

Insider | Companies owned by YouTubers MrBeast and Jeffree Star got hundreds of thousands of dollars in coronavirus relief loans 


NEW MAIN STREET LENDING PROGRAM LOANS GO TO TRUMP’S FRIENDS

Washington Post | In ongoing debate over Fed’s Main Street program, lawmakers reach little consensus 

“Lawmakers on a top banking panel largely agree that the Federal Reserve’s Main Street lending program has fallen short. But they’re debating whether or how to change the rules and allow the Fed to make more, albeit riskier, loans to struggling businesses. At a Senate Banking Committee hearing on Wednesday, policymakers differed over whether the Main Street program can be strengthened with a new structure and relaxed loan terms, or if more direct aid from Congress is needed to help companies fighting for survival during the pandemic. As of last Thursday, the Main Street lending program had completed $1.2 billion in loans, just a fraction of the $600 billion pot.”

Accountable.US | Latest Main Street Lending Program Loans Go to Trump Allies, Donors  

Morning Call | Bank with ties to Louis DeNaples behind $50M taxpayer-backed coronavirus loan to Mount Airy casino 

@Accountable.US | “BREAKING: Over $80 million in taxpayer-backed loans went to friends and supporters of President Trump in the form of #CARESAct relief program loans. Millions are unemployed and struggling, and the president continues to look out for those closest to him.” [View Tweet]