In Houston, a Texas man pleaded guilty in federal court to fraudulently obtaining 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.
Lee Price III, 30, submitted several fraudulent PPP loan applications to two different lenders on behalf of two different entities: 713 Construction LLC and Price Enterprises Holdings LLC. The 713 Construction LLC PPP loan application was made in the name of someone who died shortly before the application was submitted. Through the two PPP loan applications, Price had requested and received over $1.6 million.
In the papers that Price submitted to the government, he falsely represented the number of people who worked for the companies as well as the payroll expenses in each of the PPP loan applications. In submitting the fraudulent PPP applications, he also submitted fake tax documentation and other materials. Upon receiving the funds, Price spent the money on a Lamborghini Urus, a Ford F-350 truck, and a Rolex watch, and also used some of the money to pay off some of his debts, including a loan on a residential property.
Last year he was initially charged with making false statements to a financial institution, wire fraud, bank fraud, and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions.
Over $700,000 was seized by the Department of Justice, along with law enforcement partners.
Price, who is scheduled to be sentenced on November 29, pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and three counts of money laundering. He faces a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison for each count of wire fraud and 10 years in prison for each count of money laundering that could have him imprisoned for up to 70 years.
A federal district court judge will determine any sentence after considering the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.