Houston man pleads responsible to federal fees for fraudulently acquiring $ 1.6 million in PPP loans
HOUSTON – A Houston man pleaded guilty Monday to federal charges for receiving more than $ 1.6 million in paycheck protection program loans to help small businesses pay their employees and during the COVID 19 pandemic to stay afloat.
Lee Price III, 30, filed two fraudulent PPP loan applications with two different lenders on behalf of 713 Construction LLC and Price Enterprises Holdings LLC, according to court documents. The loan application for 713 Construction LLC was filed under the name of a person who died shortly before the application was filed, according to court records.
Price received more than $ 1.6 million in PPP loans from the combination of the two loan applications, according to court documents. According to prosecutors, he incorrectly stated the number of employees and wages in each of the PPP loan applications. Price also submitted fraudulent tax records and other materials, prosecutors said.
READ: The Houston man accused of fraudulently received $ 1.6 million from a COVID-19 relief program was one of many, records show
After Price received the funds, he went on a luxury shopping spree and, according to court documents, spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in a matter of days. Price bought a Lamborghini Urus for $ 233,000, a Ford F-350 pickup for $ 85,000, and a Rolex for $ 14,000, according to court documents. Prosecutors say he also spent thousands of dollars in Houston nightclubs and strip clubs and more than $ 100,000 renting office space in Memorial City.
The Department of Justice, along with law enforcement partners, confiscated over $ 700,000 of the disbursed PPP funds in the matter, according to a press release.
Price pleaded guilty to wire transfer fraud in two cases and money laundering in three cases. He is due to be convicted on November 29 and faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison for each case of transfer fraud and 10 years in prison for each case of money laundering, according to a press release.
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