New York: You have heard outrageous stories before. But this one will blow your mind away.
A man from the US made a fraudulent claim of $1.6 million (Rs 12 crore) as coronavirus relief loan and used that money to buy a Lamborghini sports car and other luxury items like a Rolex watch.
If Lee Price III thought he could get away with such brazen misuse of public funds, he was wrong! The 30-year-old has been sentenced to nine years in prison.
Lee borrowed the money from banks stating that he needs the funds to revive his business post-COVID devastation.
He received the large sum of money through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), which was passed last year to support individuals and businesses affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
However, Lee spent the money for luxury purchases.
Lee’s modus operandi was to submit PPP applications to different banks. Some of the banks rejected his claim, but some others approved his applications.
In one of the applications, he stated that he owned a company named Price Enterprises that had over 50 employees with an average monthly payroll of $3,75,000.
Lee’s fraud was exposed during an inspection which revealed his ‘businesses’ had no recorded employees or revenue. He was sentenced to 110 months in prison for money-laundering and wire fraud, the US Justice department said.
According to court documents, Lee spent the money on a Rolex watch, a Lamborghini Urus and Ford F-350 among other acquisitions.
Officials have recovered more than $7,00,000 of the loan amount Lee had received.
About 120 people in the US have been charged with fraud since the PPP scheme was rolled out.
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