WASHINGTON (KXAN) — A Houston man received more than $1.6 million in fraudulent government-backed loans, and then spent the money on a car, real estate and in strip clubs, according to a U.S. Department of Justice complaint.
Lee Price III, 29, is alleged to have filed fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program loan applications under company names Price Enterprises Holdings and 713 Construction. Price Enterprise Holdings received $900,000 in PPP money, and 713 Construction received $700,000, and both were said to have several employees and payroll expenses on their respective loan applications, the complaint said.
In reality, however, neither company did. In fact, the CEO listed for 713 Construction on its application died in April 2020, a month before the application was submitted, the complaint says.
With his newly-found but short-term wealth, Price spent the money on luxury items like a Lamborghini Urus car, a Rolex watch and real estate transactions, the complaint says. It also alleges he spent thousands of dollars at strip clubs and other Houston night clubs. The complaint also say Price used a portion of the money to buy a 2020 Ford F-350 pickup.
This is the second person from Houston to be indicted on charges related to filing false PPP loans. The Justice Department took Joshua Thomas Argires, 29, into custody July 13 on charges of making false statements to a financial institution, wire fraud, bank fraud and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions — the same charges Price faces.