A Houston man was sentenced to 9 years and two months in prison for taking more than $1.6 million in money meant for the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

30-year-old Lee Price III pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering in September, according to the Department of Justice.

The Paycheck Protection Program was part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security financial package, known as (CARES), passed by congress in March of 2020 to help small businesses affected by the financial impact of the pandemic.

Click2Houston reports that Price applied for two PPP loans from two different lenders in order to get $2.6 million for three different businesses. One of those businesses was Price Enterprises, which he said had 50 employees and a monthly payroll of $375,000.

Authorities would later find that that business had no employees or payroll.

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Price would eventually get $1.6 million as part of the scam. He reportedly used the money to buy some high dollar goods like a Rolex watch, a Ford 350, a Lamborghini Urus plus he spent thousands on liquor, night clubs, strip clubs, office space and even paid off a loan on some person property.

According to The Justice Department, they were able get over $700,000 of the funds back.

Price is just one of many who have attempted to rip off the government and the CARES funding in fact, there have been 95 separate cases involving more than 160 defendants  prosecuted for fraud involving PPP loans with authorities seizing more than $75 million in cash.

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