Last week, David T. Hines was charged with three felonies after fraudulently taking the Paycheck Protection Program for nearly $4 million. He then proceeded to buy a $318,000 Lamborghini.
Not to be outdone, a 29-year-old Houston, Texas man obtained about $1.6 million from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) by submitting allegedly fraudulent applications for a pair of companies.
Instead of using the funds for payroll, mortgage interest, rent or utilities, Lee Price III used it to buy a Rolex, a 2020 Ford F-350 pickup, which starts around $36,000, and a Lamborghini Urus, which starts at $200,000. He also spent money on real estate, as well as thousands of dollars at strip clubs and other night clubs.
According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), Price was charged with making false statements to a financial institution, wire fraud, bank fraud and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions.
According to unsealed documents, Price received more than $900,000 in funding for Price Enterprises Holdings, an investment company. He also received a loan for commercial builder 713 Construction, which was approved for more than $700,000.
The applications stated that both companies had numerous employees and significant payroll expenses. According to the charges, however, neither has employees nor pays wages consistent with the amounts claimed in the applications.
In the release, the DOJ added that the individual listed as CEO on the 713 Construction loan application died in April 2020, a month before the application was submitted.
The DOJ stresses that federal criminal complaint is merely an accusation. Price is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.