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Ex-Bears WR Josh Bellamy charged with coronavirus loan fraud

Bellamy allegedly received a PPP loan worth $1,246,565 for his company, Drip Entertainment LLC, and spent it on Dior and Gucci items, as well as jewelry.

Chicago Bears wide receiver Josh Bellamy (15) reacts to a play during the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) ORG XMIT: CXB1
Chicago Bears wide receiver Josh Bellamy (15) reacts to a play during the second half of an NFL football game against the Green Bay Packers Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh) ORG XMIT: CXB1
AP Photos

Former Bears receiver Josh Bellamy was arrested Thursday has been charged by the U.S. Department of Justice for allegedly participating in a scheme to receive more than $24 million from the Paycheck Protection Program through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Securities act.

Bellamy, who is injured and was cut by the Jets this week, was charged with wire fraud, bank fraud and conspiracy to commit both in a federal criminal complaint filed in the Southern District of Florida.

Bellamy allegedly received a PPP loan worth $1,246,565 for his company, Drip Entertainment LLC, and spent it on Dior and Gucci items, as well as jewelry. He allegedly spent $62,774 in PPP loan money at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in South Florida, and withdrew more than $302,000 more.

Bellamy allegedly sought friends and family to apply for loans. Bellamy and his alleged conspirators’ applications totaled more than $24 million, and paid more than $17.4 million.

The CARES Act was designed to provide forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention. The PPP gives small businesses low-interest loans to meet payroll, rent and utilities.