HOUSTON (AP) – A Houston man has been sentenced to more than nine years in prison after he was accused of using federal COVID-19 relief funding on a Lamborghini, a Rolex watch and trips to strip clubs, federal prosecutors said.
Lee Price III, 30, was sentenced Monday to 110 months in prison. Price pleaded guilty in September to wire fraud and money laundering.
“Mr. Price hopes that others will learn from his reckoning that there is no easy money,” Price’s lawyer Tom Berg said in an email to news outlets. “He has the balance of the 110-month sentence to reflect, repent and rebuild his misspent life.”
Prosecutors accused Price of fraudulently using more than $1.6 million in funding from the Paycheck Protection Program, which gave low-interest loans to small businesses struggling during the pandemic.
One company called Price Enterprises Holdings received $900,000 and another company, 713 Construction, received $700,000, according to an unsealed complaint. The 713 Construction application named a person as the CEO who had died a month before the form was submitted in May. Prosecutors say the application contained inaccurate information pertaining to employee numbers and payroll expenses.
Price also used the money to buy an $85,000 Ford pickup truck and to pay off a loan on a residential property, according to prosecutors.