Casino Watch Focus has reported on the various complications and disruptions of how Covid-19 is impacting the gambling industry. Some of those stories have also involved criminal activity ranging from illegal gambling venues that opened up after regulated casinos were shut down due to lockdown, to casinos not enforcing new guidelines to not providing the proper mandated PPE equipment for employees. Now a high profiled loan fraud case is front and center as an NFL player has taken money from the government and spent it at the Hard Rock Casino in Florida. A local news agency reports:
Investigators say that Josh Bellamy, a wide receiver from St. Petersburg who was released by the New York Jets earlier this week, was among a group of people who filed fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program loan applications for more than $24 million.
He has been charged in South Florida federal court with wire and bank fraud in addition to conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud. Bellamy allegedly got more than a million dollars for his own company, Drip Entertainment.
Investigators say he then bought $104,000 worth of luxury goods from designers like Dior and Gucci. They also allege that he spent more than $62,000 of the loan at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Broward.
Bellamy is accused of trying to get PPP loans for family members and Associates. The payments were part of the CARES Act, a federal law enacted in late March to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans suffering the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.
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