A professional football player from St. Petersburg is facing Federal fraud charges over allegations that he was involved in a plot to defraud the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) of over $24 million.
Federal prosecutors say the 31-year-old man was part of a larger conspiracy that began with a co-conspirator obtaining fraudulent documents for his own company. Upon submitting the fraudulent form of his own, he then allegedly recruited others, including this defendant, to submit several more fraudulent PPP applications. In addition, prosecutors say they found several other individuals who would pay kickbacks in exchange for obtaining fraudulent PPP funds for them.
The defendant allegedly received a fraudulent PPP loan for himself that yielded him a payment of over $1.2 million. He allegedly submitted fraudulent PPP loans for several family members and close associates.
Federal prosecutors say the conspiracy in its entirety consisted of at least 90 fraudulent loan applications seeking a total of over $24 million dollars. At least $17.4 million of that total was allegedly paid out prior to the discovery of the conspiracy. Ten other defendants have already been charged, with all but two hailing from Florida.