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Entrepreneur is arrested for ‘fraudulently obtaining PPP loans’ of more than $1.6million

Lee Price III, 29, is accused of scamming the US government’s Payment Protection Program out of more than $1.6 million

Lee Price III, 29, is accused of scamming the US government’s Payment Protection Program out of more than $1.6 million

Lee Price III, 29, is accused of scamming the US government’s Payment Protection Program out of more than $1.6 million

A man from Texas has been taken into custody after allegedly fraudulently obtaining more than $1.6 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.

Lee Price III, 29, from Houston, is believed to have spent the money on luxury items including a Lamborghini, real estate and splashed some of the cash for his own amusement at area strip clubs.

Price is charged with making false statements to a financial institution, wire fraud, bank fraud and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions.

The complaint as detailed by the Department of Justice alleges Price was involved in a scheme to submit fraudulent PPP loan applications to federally insured banks and other lenders. 

The Small Business Administration (SBA) guarantees the loans for COVID-19 relief through the PPP under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

Price is alleged to have made two fraudulent applications for which he received funding.

Price Enterprises Holdings allegedly received more than $900,000, while a loan application made under the firm listing as 713 Construction was approved for over $700,000.

Price is alleged to have used the proceeds of the loan on luxury goods including a Lamborghini Urus which cost more than $200,000. (File photo)

Price is alleged to have used the proceeds of the loan on luxury goods including a Lamborghini Urus which cost more than $200,000. (File photo)

Price is alleged to have used the proceeds of the loan on luxury goods including a Lamborghini Urus which cost more than $200,000. (File photo)

Price is also alleged to have bought a Rolex watch which have prices starting around $5,000

Price is also alleged to have bought a Rolex watch which have prices starting around $5,000

Price is also alleged to have bought a Rolex watch which have prices starting around $5,000

In details of the application, Price claimed that both companies had numerous employees working at them racking up significant payroll expenses. 

However, the complaint suggests that neither is true with both entities having no employees or paying wages consistent with the amounts claimed in the loan applications. 

Furthermore, the person named as CEO on the loan application for 713 Construction died in April 2020, one month before the application was submitted. 

Price is alleged to have used the proceeds of the loan on luxury goods including a Lamborghini Urus which cost more than $200,000, a Rolex watch which have prices starting around $5,000, and various real estate transactions. 

He is also alleged to have spent thousands at strip clubs and other Houston night clubs before using another chunk of loan money to buy a 2020 Ford F-350 pickup truck.

If convicted, Price could face a maximum penalty of up to 30 years in federal prison and $1 million fine on the bank fraud charge and up to 10 years in federal prison and a $250,000 fine for the unlawful transactions charge. 

Price is alleged to have used another chunk of loan money to buy a 2020 Ford F-350 pickup truck (file photo)

Price is alleged to have used another chunk of loan money to buy a 2020 Ford F-350 pickup truck (file photo)

Price is alleged to have used another chunk of loan money to buy a 2020 Ford F-350 pickup truck (file photo)

David T. Hines, 29, is charged with fraud after allegedly using coronavirus relief funds to also buy a Lamborghini sports car among other luxury items

David T. Hines, 29, is charged with fraud after allegedly using coronavirus relief funds to also buy a Lamborghini sports car among other luxury items

David T. Hines, 29, is charged with fraud after allegedly using coronavirus relief funds to also buy a Lamborghini sports car among other luxury items

Last week, a Florida man was arrested after allegedly using coronavirus relief funds to also buy a Lamborghini sports car among other luxury items. 

David T. Hines, 29, from Miami, allegedly obtained $4 million in Covid-19 relief funds after applying for Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans for small businesses. 

He claimed that he had hundreds of employees across four companies – and that he needed $13million to keep paying them. 

Hines went online and asked for several loans – three were approved. 

In reality, prosecutors say he had 12 employees and that his business ‘inflows and outflows’ were around $200,000 a month. 

He is accused of spending some of the money he received on stays at luxury hotels in Miami along with the car, and on clothes from Saks. The criminal complaint against him also claims he spent money on dating websites.     

Hines allegedly bought a luxury Lamborghini Huracan Evo with the PPP loans he obtained (pictured above)

Hines allegedly bought a luxury Lamborghini Huracan Evo with the PPP loans he obtained (pictured above)

Hines allegedly bought a luxury Lamborghini Huracan Evo with the PPP loans he obtained (pictured above) 

The CARES Act which was enacted into law at the end of March 29 is designed to provide emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans who are suffering the economic effects resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The Act allows up to $349 billion in forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other expenses through the PPP funding scheme. 

The PPP allows small businesses to receive loans with a maturity of two years at a low interest rate of one percent, but the loans must be used for payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent and utilities in which case the loans and interest can be forgiven.  

Source: Daily Mail

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