HOUSTON — New U.S. District Court records give us a look into the background of the Houston man accused of spending $1.6 million in COVID-19 relief funds on luxuries like a Lamborghini and a Rolex watch.
Editor's note: The video in this story is from the original Aug. 4, 2020 broadcast of when the fraud charges were revealed
Lee Price III, 29, was arrested on charges of making false statements to a financial institution, wire fraud, bank fraud and engaging in unlawful monetary transactions. Price allegedly submitted fraudulent applications for Paycheck Protection Program loans.
The money is supposed to be used by businesses to pay employees during the pandemic, but Price allegedly purchased a Lamborghini SUV, a Ford pickup and a Rolex watch, among other things.
Price has a "lengthy criminal history," including forgery in 2010 and robbery in 2011, prosecutors noted in the criminal complaint against him. He is also charged in a current case out of Harris County with the felony offense of tampering with a government record.
Over the last several years, records show Price has also been convicted of making a false report to a police officer. He's also been previously accused of driving while intoxicated, evading police and being involved in a hit-and-run incident.
The Houston resident claims to be an executive at Price Enterprises Holdings LLC, Price Logistic Services LLC and 713 Construction LLC. But court documents allege the companies that he filed for employee loans for never filed with the Texas Workforce Commission, indicating they don't actually have any employees.
Just last week another man, in Florida, was also accused of using federal loans meant to help businesses get through the COVID-19 pandemic to buy a new Lamborghini as well.