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Former NFL player sentenced for COVID-19 relief fraud

Published: Dec. 10, 2021 at 9:35 PM EST
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WASHINGTON (WWSB) - A former NFL player has been sentenced to 37 months in federal prison for fraudulently obtaining over $1.2 million through the Paycheck Protection Program.

According to court documents, Joshua J. Bellamy, 32, of St. Petersburg, pleaded guilty on June 9 in the Southern District of Florida to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

As part of the scheme, Bellamy obtained a PPP loan of $1,246,565 for his company, Drip Entertainment LLC. He did this using falsified documents and false information.

Bellamy admitted to using the loan on personal items, such as jewelry, and a stay at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. He also admitted that he paid more than $311,000 to an alleged co-conspirator, James Stote, as a kickback for his help in preparing and submitting the application.

In addition to the prison sentence, Bellamy was ordered to serve three years of supervised release and pay $1,246,565 in restitution and $1,246,565n in forfeiture.

Also, a Florida woman was sentenced on Dec. 9 to two years in federal prison for fraudulently getting a PPP loan as part of this criminal scheme. According to court documents, Yashica Bain, 38, of Miramar, pleaded guilty on Sept. 30 in the Southern District of Florida to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

As part of the fraud scheme, Bain obtained a loan of $415,232 for her company, Microblading Brow Studio, LLC. She did this using falsified documents and false information.

Bain used the money to enrich herself and others who never worked for the company. She falsely described those payments as “payroll” and “wages.”

Bain admitted that she paid Stote more than $28,000 as a kickback for his help with the application.

Bain was also ordered to serve three years of supervised release and pay $415,232 in restitution and $415,232 in forfeiture.

Stote was charged on June 24, 2020, with wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud. His case remains pending.

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