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Prosecutors: Texas man stole $1.6M in COVID-19 relief money

1 month 2 weeks 1 day ago Wednesday, August 05 2020 Aug 5, 2020 August 05, 2020 2:09 PM August 05, 2020 in News - AP Texas Headlines

HOUSTON (AP) — Federal prosecutors say a Houston man bilked the government out of $1.6 million in COVID-19 business relief funding and spent some of the money on a Lamborghini, jewelry and trips to strip clubs, among other things.

Lee Price III, 29, is charged with making false statements to a financial institution, wire fraud, bank fraud and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions, the Houston Chronicle reported.

Prosecutors allege that Price stole from the Paycheck Protection Program, which gives low-interest loans to small businesses struggling during the pandemic.

One company called Price Enterprises Holdings received $900,000 and another company, 713 Construction, received $700,000, according to an unsealed complaint. The 713 Construction application named a person as the CEO who had died a month before the form was submitted in May. Prosecutors say the application contained inaccurate information pertaining to employee numbers and payroll expenses.

Price also used the loans for a 2020 Ford pickup, a Rolex watch and real estate, according to prosecutors. He was scheduled to make an initial appearance before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sam S. Sheldon on Tuesday.

For copyright information, check with the distributor of this item, Houston Chronicle.

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