Ex-New York Jets player Josh Bellamy charged with coronavirus-relief fraud: Justice Department

FILE PHOTO:  NFL: New York Jets-Training Camp
FILE PHOTO: Jul 25, 2019; Florham Park, NJ, USA; New York Jets wide receiver Josh Bellamy (15) during Jets training camp at Atlantic Health Center. Mandatory Credit: Noah K. Murray-USA TODAY Sports/File Photo

September 10, 2020

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Former New York Jets player Josh Bellamy has been charged with participating in a scheme to fraudulently receive coronavirus-relief loans, the U.S. Justice Department said on Thursday.

Bellamy, 31, allegedly obtained a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan of $1.2 million for his company, Drip Entertainment, and used the money to purchase over $104,000 in luxury goods, the department said.

The eight-year National Football League veteran was released by the Jets this week, according to news media reports.

The U.S. government’s PPP program provided loans or grants to small businesses hurt by pandemic shutdowns.

According to the charges, Bellamy was part of a group of 11 people who fraudulently sought more than $24 million in PPP grants.

Bellamy could not immediately be reached for comment.

(Reporting by Eric Beech; Editing by Sandra Maler and Jonathan Oatis)