Josh Bellamy charged for alleged role in COVID-relief fraud scheme

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The U.S. Justice Department announced Thursday that Josh Bellamy was arrested and charged with his alleged role in a fraudulent scheme to receive loans intended for COVID-19 relief, Eric Edholm of yahoosports.com reports.

The Jets cut Bellamy from the reserve/physically unable to perform list Tuesday. He injured his shoulder this offseaon.

The Justice Department accuses Bellamy of receiving a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan for more than $1.2 million supposedly for his company, Drip Entertainment, LLC.

The report alleges that Bellamy spent more than $104,000 in luxury goods, including purchases at Dior, Gucci and various jewelers, and more than $62,000 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino while withdrawing more than $302,000.

Bellamy also stands accused of securing PPP loans on behalf of family and friends. The allegations name 10 other defendants, with total PPP loan fraud estimated at more than $24 million.

The CARES Act was enacted to provide emergency financial assistance amid the pandemic. It authorized up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses through PPP loans at low interest rates, with businesses required to use the loans for payroll, interest on mortgages, rent and utilites.

Bellamy, who entered the NFL as an undrafted free agent in 2012, played eight seasons with the Chiefs, Bears and Jets. He caught two passes for 20 yards in seven games with the Jets last season.