The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has opened several hundreds of Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan fraud investigations. It has identified nearly 500 fraud suspects.
In its most recent actions, the DOJ filed new charges against 11 people including former NFL player Joshua Bellamy in a complex case coordinated between Miami and Cleveland. The case involves only around $24 million in PPP loans, a very small portion of the total $524 billion that was given out to more than five million applicants. But it stirred outrage because the money was allegedly used to pay for personal extravagances such as luxury cars, gambling trips to Las Vegas, visits to strip clubs and Rolex watches.
According to Brian Rabbitt, the Assistant Attorney General for the Criminal Division of the DOJ, said they will focus on prosecuting “coordinate criminal rings that have engaged in systematic, organized conduct to loot the PPP. The agency has filed charges against 57 individuals so far.