During the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the government quickly implemented targeted programs to keep businesses and families afloat. Some people took advantage of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) to fund extravagant personal supercar purchases like Lamborghinis, Ferraris and even a Rolex or two. What is PPP fraud and how do you buy a Lamborghini with it?
Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) Fraud – Lamborghini Edition
According to the Justice Department The Public Affairs Office, Lee Price III, 30, of Houston, pleaded guilty to fraud charges this week. The Texas man fraudulently obtained more than $ 1.6 million in PPP loans. The Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Relief, Relief and Economic Security Act (CARES) guaranteed these loans. Upon receiving the money, Price almost immediately bought a Lamborghini Urus.
Price applied for loans using two different applications and two different lenders on behalf of 713 Construction LLC and Price Enterprises Holdings LLC. After that, he presented the loan to 713 Construction in the name of someone who had recently passed away.
Price falsified the number of employees and payroll expenses in the applications to qualify for a larger loan. He also falsified tax records and other documents to supplement the fraudulent applications. According to court documents, the government approved the loan of $ 752,452 for 713 Construction. Later, a loan of $ 937,500 was approved for Price Enterprises Holdings. After that, the Lamborghini was almost his.
Why not buy a Lamborghini and a Rolex with $ 1.6 million in loans?
According to court documents, Price did his best to receive the money. He bought a Rolex watch for $ 14,343.13. He also bought a 2019 Lamborghini Urus for $ 233,337 and a 2020 Ford F-350 pickup for $ 85,000. After that, Price paid off a home loan and made other smaller purchases. According to an earlier announcement from the Justice Department, Price spent thousands of dollars on local Houston strip clubs and nightclubs in addition to the Lamborghini.
However, the companies in the applications were not legitimate and did not require the requested amount for payroll or other costs.
“In Request 1, PRICE stated that 713 Construction had 30 employees and an average monthly payroll of $ 300,981. However, 713 Construction actually had no employees or payroll. “
United States Courts Southern District of Texas | Case 4: 20-cr-00522
In court, Price pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering. Each count of wire fraud carries the potential of 20 years in prison. Similarly, each money laundering charge has the potential of 10 years in prison.
File this in “what not to do”
Price is far from the only one who tried to scam the government. Since the government announced PPP loans, there have been numerous cases of people getting money and immediately buying a Lamborghini or Ferrari. It seems the lure of buying a supercar for ill-gotten profits is too strong to ignore. In many of the cases, these people have already been arrested and taken to court.
The government denied loans to smaller companies that applied for and made loans to people like Lee Price III. The above fraud won’t be the last time the government has arrested someone for fraudulently using APP funds to purchase a Lamborghini, that’s for sure. The courts will sentence Price on November 29. Cops theme song.