WASHINGTON (CBSMiami) — Florida NFL player Joshua J. Bellamy has been charged in a federal criminal complaint with fraudulently obtaining $1.2 million in coronavirus relief funds and spending the money at a South Florida hotel and casino and on luxury goods such as Dior, Gucci and other designer items.
Bellamy was arrested Thursday morning and appeared before a Magistrate Judge in the Middle District of Florida charged with wire fraud, bank fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud.
Federal prosecutors say Bellamy, along with others, conspired to file fraudulent loan applications seeking more than $24 million in forgivable Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, according the U.S. Attorney’s Office.
Bellamy, prosecutors say, received more than $1.2 million for his company, Drip Entertainment LLC and allegedly spent over $104,000 in luxury items by Gucci, Dior and jewelers. He also allegedly spent more than $62,000 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino and withdrew another $302,000.
Bellamy also allegedly sought PPP loans on behalf of his family members and close associates.
The complaint alleges the scheme involved the preparation of at least 90 fraudulent applications, most of which were submitted, worth more than $24 million. Many of those loan applications were approved and funded, paying out at least $17.4 million.
Official says ten other co-conspirators have also been charged, several of whom live in Miami Gardens, Miramar and Pembroke Pines.
Bellamy, of St. Petersburg, plays for the New York Jets but is not on the roster right now because he is on the team’s reserve/physically unable to perform list.
Anyone with information about allegations of attempted fraud involving COVID-19 can report it by calling the Department of Justice’s National Center for Disaster Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721 or via the NCDF Web Complaint Form.