HOUSTON – The Houston man accused of going on a shopping spree after receiving more than $1.6 million from the Small Business Association’s Paycheck Protection Program has been sentenced to 110 months in prison, the U.S. Justice Department announced Monday.
According to court documents, 30-year-old Lee Price III pleaded guilty in September to charges of wire fraud and money laundering, submitting fraudulent PPP loan applications to two different lenders on behalf of three businesses: 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. Court documents said Price falsely reported the number of employees and payroll expenses in each of the PPP loan applications.
According to the official criminal complaint against Price, he started spending that PPP money almost immediately on incredibly lavish items, including a $233,000 Lamborghini Urus, an $85,000 Ford F-350 pickup truck and a $14,000 Rolex.
Prosecutors say he also spent thousands of dollars at Houston nightclubs and strip clubs, and more than $100,000 to lease office space in Memorial City.
The Department of Justice, along with law enforcement partners, seized over $700,000 of the funds Price fraudulently obtained, court documents said.
On May 17, 2021, the Attorney General established the COVID-19 Fraud Enforcement Task Force to marshal the resources of the Department of Justice in partnership with agencies across the government to enhance efforts to combat and prevent pandemic-related fraud.