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Texas Man, Like Florida Man Before Him, Uses PPP Loan Money on Lamborghini

Motor Trend logo Motor Trend 8/5/2020 Motor Trend Staff
a yellow car parked on the side of a mountain: 2019 Lamborghini Urus 24 © Motor Trend Staff 2019 Lamborghini Urus 24

No offense to the state of Florida, but it's typically a good idea to avoid following in its male citizens' footsteps. Or, at least, to never appear in a sentence like the title of this story. That's because it can be assumed that any news item that begins "Florida Man..." involves some kind of brazen, insane, or otherwise non-model behavior. Take one Florida Man from last month, who used fraudulently obtained Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan money intended for coronavirus business relief to purchase himself a Lamborghini Huracán. Well, one Lamborghini-lovin' Texas Man just couldn't help himself.

While it'd be funny to write that the Texas Man at the center of a new Justice Department criminal complaint said something like "hold my beer, watch this," the reality is that he likely was committing his abuse of PPP funding around the same time as his Florida counterpart. Like that 29-year-old Floridian, the Texan—29-year-old Lee Price III—obtained PPP loan money, and instead of using it to keep payroll through virus-related economic shutdowns and tribulations, went out and bought himself a Lamborghini Urus SUV instead. Oh, he also apparently spent lavishly at Houston-area strip clubs, as well as bought a new Ford F-350 truck because, you know, Texas loves pickups.

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Well, we shouldn't say Price III used his PPP money in lieu of his payroll—because like the PPP-abusing Florida Man, the Texan is alleged to have inflated his companies' paycheck obligations. In Price's case, he created them out of thin air; he in fact has no employees or payroll at all. The two companies Price listed on his PPP loan applications were on-paper phantoms, and one even listed as its CEO a man who had died one month prior to the loan application's filing. Nevertheless, the government approved one of Price's outfits for $900,000, and the other for a cool $700,000.

The PPP loans authorized by the government as part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act totaled more than $349 billion, and are intended to be forgivable if businesses can show they spent at least 60 percent of acquired funds on maintaining payroll and making rent or mortgage payments. It perhaps goes without saying that Lamborghinis and big Ford trucks aren't suggested uses of PPP funds, and while gentlemen's clubs are small businesses, they can apply for PPP loans themselves. Price has been arrested on charges of wire fraud, bank fraud, unlawful monetary transactions, and making false statements.

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