Ex-Jets WR Josh Bellamy Facing Fraud Charges for Alleged Role in Loan Scheme

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistSeptember 10, 2020

New York Jets wide receiver Josh Bellamy in action before an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles, Sunday, Oct. 6, 2019, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)
Matt Rourke/Associated Press

Free-agent wide receiver Josh Bellamy was arrested and charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud after allegedly participating in a scheme to illegally receive federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans amid the COVID-19 pandemic. 

Bellamy allegedly received $1.25 million in federal loans for his company, Drip Entertainment LLC. The wideout, who was released by the Jets this week, is accused of using that money for personal use, including $104,000 in purchases at luxury stores like Gucci and Dior, along with $62,774 spent at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino.

Ten other co-conspirators were charged with similar crimes. In total, they allegedly received $24 million in fraudulent loans. Bellamy is also alleged to have sought out PPP loans on behalf of friends and family.

The federal government approved the PPP loans in March for small businesses that were struggling with shutdowns related to the pandemic. They were meant to cover employee salaries and other expenses to avoid the shuttering of businesses and lessen job losses.

It is illegal to use any money from those loans for anything other than their specified purpose.

Bellamy was released by the Jets from the reserve/PUP list Wednesday. He was slated to miss the entire 2020 season because of a shoulder injury.

Bellamy spent seven seasons in the NFL, playing for the Kansas City Chiefs, Washington Football Team, Chicago Bears and Jets. 


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