Former New York Jets wide receiver Josh Bellamy was arrested Thursday morning for his alleged involvement in a $24 million scheme where he llegally received coronavirus relief loans, ESPN reports. The U.S. Justice Department names 10 defendants, aside from Bellamy, in the case, none of which played in the NFL.
Bellamy received a loan of more than $1.2 million from the Paycheck Protection Program for his company Drip Entertainment LLC. The PPP is meant to provide small businesses struggling financially in wake of the pandemic with low-interest loans to help keep them afloat.
The department claims Bellamy spent more than $62,000 of his PPP loan money at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Florida, as well as dishing out over $104,000 at Dior, Gucci, and various jewelers. He also withdrew more than $302,000.
Bellamy is also accused of attaining PPP loans for members of his family and close associates. He has been charged with fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud.
The Jets, who released Bellamy on Tuesday, said they were unaware of his situation when he was let go. Bellamy had been placed on the physically unable to play (PUP) list as he recovered from a shoulder injury he suffered over the offseason.
Bellamy signed a two-year, $5 million contract with the Jets last year. He was scheduled to appear in court before U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher Tuite of the Middle District of Florida today.