NFL wide receiver Josh Bellamy has been charged and arrested for allegedly participating in a multi-million dollar paycheck protection program loan fraud system, announced Thursday the Ministry of Justice.

According to the Justice Department, Bellamy, along with talent management firm owner Phillip J. Augustin and several others, have applied for PPP loans totaling more than $ 24 million. At least 42 of the requested loans have been approved to the tune of around $ 17.4 million, the department said. Bellamy reportedly received a loan of $ 1,246,565 for his company Drip Entertainment LLC.

He then allegedly used the loan to purchase more than $ 100,000 in luxury goods from Dior, Gucci and various jewelers. Bellamy also reportedly spent over $ 62,000 of the loan money at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. The department also alleges that Bellamy attempted to obtain PPP loans for his family members and “associates”.

The 31-year-old catcher, who was published by the Jets on Tuesday, is accused of electronic fraud, bank fraud and conspiracy to commit electronic fraud and bank fraud. Bellamy was arrested Thursday and is due in court later today in Florida.

According to the criminal complaint, Bellamy had someone who is now cooperating with the criminal investigation to prepare “forged documents” and help submit the request. This person would have been promised part of the loan in payment for his assistance.

Josh bellamy
Josh Bellamy on October 6, 2019 in Philadelphia.

Matt Rourke / AP

The complaint also alleges that Bellamy and others have submitted at least 90 fraudulent claims.

“To inflate the amount of these PPP loans and the corresponding bribes, the conspirators relied on a variety of false declarations, including submitting falsified bank statements and payroll tax forms,” ​​the conspirator said. complaint. “For example, the conspirators used almost identical versions of the same fabricated bank statements, recycled into PPP applications for several companies with minor changes.”

Bellamy has been in the NFL for eight years, playing with the Kansas City Chiefs, then-San Diego Chargers, the Washington football team, the Chicago Bears, and most recently the New York Jets. . Bellamy had two receptions for 20 yards in 2019, and was also a member of the special teams unit. Bellamy was placed on the physically unable to play list in early May 2020 and on Tuesday he was released by the Jets.

Under the CARES Act, over $ 600 billion in forgivable loans have been released for PPP. The purpose of the loans was to help small businesses retain employees and face certain other expenses during the Coronavirus pandemic.