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Former Bear Joshua Bellamy charged with COVID-19 wire fraud

The long-time standout special teamer is in serious legal trouble.

Wild Card Round - Philadelphia Eagles v Chicago Bears Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images

For those who remember his playing days in Chicago, Joshua Bellamy served as a frequent scapegoat. A walking well of frustration who made his hay primarily on the third phase, Bellamy was inconsistent as an offensive weapon. Thanks to a combination of drops and poor route-running, the 31-year-old was considered more trouble on downfield passes directed toward him than he was worth.

Now it appears Bellamy has found something he cannot drop: Federal charges.

On Thursday afternoon, the United States Justice Department charged Bellamy for his role in a plan that filed fraudulent loan applications for the Paycheck Protection Program guaranteed under the CARES Act of March 2020. Instituted in relief for small business owners affected by the COVID-19 pandemic, Bellamy allegedly personally took advantage of the system to make a duplicitous, approximate $1.2 million out of the loan program for his business.

Perhaps related to this mess, Bellamy was released by the Jets on Wednesday. Though it’s early in the legal process (as Bellamy has only just recently been arrested and charged), this does not look like a situation where the now-former NFL player will be able to slide by.