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

New York Jets players during a training session in August 2020.
New York Jets players during a training session in August 2020.PHOTO: AFP

WASHINGTON (REUTERS) - Former New York Jets player Josh Bellamy has been charged with participating in a scheme to fraudulently receive coronavirus-relief loans, the US Justice Department said on Thursday (Sept 10).

Bellamy, 31, allegedly obtained a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan of US$1.2 million (S$1.6 million) for his company, Drip Entertainment, and used the money to purchase over US$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 US government's PPP programme 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 US$24 million in PPP grants.

Bellamy could not immediately be reached for comment.