Houston Man Who Faced 70 Years for PPP Fraud, Spending Money in Strip Clubs, Handed 9 Years In Prison

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Lee Price III, who pleaded guilty in federal court to fraudulently obtaining more than $1.6 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans, was handed a prison sentence of 9 years and 2 months, CBS News reports.

As BLACK ENTERPRISE previously reported, Price, 30, submitted several fraudulent PPP loan applications to two different lenders for $2.6 million 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. According to ABC News and KHOU 11, Price also spent $2,000 at a strip club, $2,500 at a night club and at least $700 buying liquor.

More than $700,000 was seized by the Department of Justice, along with law enforcement partners.

“Mr. Price hopes that others will learn from his reckoning that there is no easy money,” Tom Berg, Price’s lawyer, told the Washington Post in an email. “He has the balance of the 110-month sentence to reflect, repent and rebuild his misspent life.”

Price faced 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 had him imprisoned for up to 70 years.