Lee Price III Houston Texas man busted scamming $1.6 million he claimed needing for PPP only to spend illicit received funds on luxury items and at strip clubs.
A Texas man is alleged to have spent coronavirus relief loans meant for small business he had illicitly received on strip clubs, a brand-new Lamborghini and a Rolex watch, federal prosecutors said Tuesday.
Lee Price III, 29 of Houston is accused of scamming the US government’s Payment Protection Program (PPP) out of more than $1.6 million by claiming he needed the cash for payroll expenses, the Department of Justice said.
He was allegedly involved in a scheme to submit fraudulent PPP loan applications, and did so successfully for two companies — neither of which actually had any employees, prosecutors said.
Of note, the person listed as CEO on the application for one of the companies, 713 Construction, had died a month before it was submitted, the officials said. Price got $700,000 for that one and another $900,000 for another company.
Upon Price receiving the fund loans, he allegedly used the cash to make lavish purchases, including a $200K Lamborghini Urus, a 2020 Ford F-350 pickup truck and on real estate transactions.
He also blew thousands at strip clubs and nightclubs in Houston, prosecutors allege.
Price was charged with making false statements to a financial institution, wire fraud, bank fraud and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions.
Price appeared in federal court at 2 p.m. Tuesday and was appointed a federal public defender during the hearing and a detention hearing was scheduled for Thursday at 10 a.m. click2houston reported.
Of note, Price has a long rap sheet in Houston dating back to 2007 when he was a teenager reports KHOU.
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.
Some people and businesses who had legit needs for the money have complained they never received it.
Price’s arrest similarly follows that of Feds arrest of a Miami man last week on similar offenses. David T. Hines, also 29, was accused of scamming $4 million from the program and also spending the money on a Lamborghini, as well as other luxury items. Indeed.