Texas Man Gets Nine Years In $1.6M COVID Relief Scam

From the Department of Justice:

A Texas man was sentenced today to 110 months in prison for his scheme to fraudulently obtain and launder proceeds from more than $1.6 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA) under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act.

According to court documents, Lee Price III, 30, of Houston, who pleaded guilty in September to charges of wire fraud and money laundering, submitted fraudulent PPP loan applications to two different lenders on behalf of three entities, 713 Construction LLC, Price Enterprises Holdings LLC, and Price Logistic Services LLC.

Through these loan applications, Price sought over $2.6 million and actually obtained over $1.6 million in PPP loan funds. Price falsely represented the number of employees and payroll expenses in each of the PPP loan applications.

To support the fraudulent PPP loan applications, Price also submitted fraudulent tax records and other materials. Illustratively, with respect to the 713 Construction LLC loan application, Price applied in the name of an individual who died shortly before the application was submitted.

After he received the PPP loan funds, Price spent the money on, among other purchases, a Lamborghini Urus, a Ford F-350 truck, a Rolex watch, and to pay off a loan on a residential property. The Department of Justice, along with law enforcement partners, seized over $700,000 of the funds Price fraudulently obtained.