Former NFL Player Josh Bellamy Gets 3 Years In Prison For $1.2 Million Covid Fraud.
Former NFL player Josh Bellamy has been sentenced to 37 months in prison for fraud. The fraud plan has resulted in him illegally receiving more than $ 1.2 million in Covid-19 relief funds.
Bellamy pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit fraud on June 9. A federal court in Tampa sentenced him to jail on Friday and, according to court records, ordered him to reimburse $1,246,565 and the same forfeiture for the fraudulently obtained funds. Bellamy was first indicted by a group of eleven accused of illegally soliciting more than $24 million in PPP funding.
The Paycheck Protection Program, or PPP, was originally introduced to help businesses maintain their workforce during the Covid-19 pandemic. Bellamy allegedly used forged documents and information to secure the loan to his company Drip Entertainment, LLC through the federal government’s Paycheck Protection Program.
According to court records, Bellamy will use the money for personal expenses, including jewelry and a stay at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. He also requested loans from family members and said he used $311,000 of funds to pay off alleged co-conspirator James State who helped him prepare his fraudulent loan application. James has also been charged with wire transfer fraud, bank fraud and conspiracy of wire transfer fraud. His case is being processed.
Bellamy played eight seasons in the NFL from 2012 to 2019. He grossed over $8.1 million in career earnings. He last played for the New York Jets in 2019
Bellamy isn’t the first former NFL player to plead guilty to a Covid-19 relief funds. Large beneficiary Kenbrell Thompkins pleaded guilty in October to fraudulently receiving Covid-19 unemployment benefits from the state of California. He was sentenced on January 6 to a maximum sentence of 12 years in prison.