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NFL player used coronavirus relief loan at Hard Rock casino and on luxury items, feds say

Bellamy accused of misusing PPP loan funds

PEMBROKE PARK, Fla. – An NFL player has been arrested as part of a federal fraud investigation.

Investigators say that Josh Bellamy, a wide receiver from St. Petersburg who was released by the New York Jets earlier this week, was among a group of people who filed fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program loan applications for more than $24 million.

He has been charged in South Florida federal court with wire and bank fraud in addition to conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud.

Bellamy allegedly got more than a million dollars for his own company, Drip Entertainment.

Investigators say he then bought $104,000 worth of luxury goods from designers like Dior and Gucci.

They also allege that he spent more than $62,000 of the loan at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Broward.

Bellamy is accused of trying to get PPP loans for family members and associates.

The payments were part of the CARES Act, a federal law enacted in late March to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans suffering the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic.

In addition to Bellamy, 10 others were charged in the investigation and eight of them are from South Florida.

According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the other 10 defendants allegedly involved in this scheme whose complaints were previously unsealed are:

  • Tiara Walker, 37, of Miami Gardens, Florida, was charged in a federal criminal complaint filed on Sept. 3, 2020, in the Southern District of Florida, with wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud;
  • Damion O. Mckenzie, 38, of Miami Gardens, Florida, was charged in a federal criminal complaint filed on Aug. 3, 2020, in the Southern District of Florida with wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud;
  • Andre M. Clark, 46, of Miramar, Florida, was charged in a federal criminal complaint filed on Aug. 3, 2020, in the Southern District of Florida with wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud;
  • Keyaira Bostic, 31, of Pembroke Pines, Florida, was charged in a federal criminal complaint filed on Aug. 3, 2020, in the Southern District of Florida with wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud;
  • Phillip J. Augustin, 51, of Coral Springs, Florida, was charged in a federal criminal complaint filed on July 28, 2020, in the Northern District of Ohio with wire fraud, bank fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and obstruction;
  • Wyleia Nashon Williams, 44, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was charged in a federal criminal complaint filed on July 28, 2020, in the Northern District of Ohio with wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud;
  • James R. Stote, 54, of Hollywood, Florida, was charged in a federal criminal complaint filed on June 24, 2020, in the Northern District of Ohio with wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud;
  • Ross Charno, 46, of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was charged in a federal criminal complaint filed on June 24, 2020, in the Northern District of Ohio with wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud;
  • Deon D. Levy, 50, of Bedford, Ohio, was charged in a federal complaint filed on June 8, 2020, in the Northern District of Ohio with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud; and
  • Abdul-Azeem Levy, 22, of Cleveland, Ohio was charged in a federal complaint filed on June 8, 2020, in the Northern District of Ohio with wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

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