America’s wealthiest celebrities received millions in taxpayer-funded loans – and nearly all of them have been forgiven. Meanwhile, America’s small businesses are still struggling to get by.
The Payment Protection Program (PPP) was a federal program initiated during the height of the Wuhan coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic meant to help struggling businesses who lost a lot of income due to the lockdowns.
An investigation by the University of Texas found that, of the $953 billion the federal government set aside for PPP loans, a full 15 percent – around $76 billion – were fraudulent. Furthermore, many multimillionaire celebrities and elites benefited from PPP loans that they did not need to pay back.
This means that millions of taxpayer-funded dollars were diverted away from the struggling small businesses that really needed help. (Related: PPP loans to supposed farms flowed into shoreline front operations instead.)
A-list celebrities received millions in PPP loans
Reality TV star, fashion mogul and socialite Khloe Kardashian’s denim brand, Good American LLC, received a loan of $1,245,405, mostly for payroll assistance for 57 workers. The full amount, including interest, was reportedly forgiven. Kardashian’s estimated net worth is around $60 million.
Reese Witherspoon, the star of the hit 2001 comedy film “Legally Blonde,” is worth an estimated $400 million. Her clothing company, Draper James LLC, received $975,472 in the first PPP round to meet payroll and rent. The entire loan has reportedly been forgiven.
Hip-hop artist and entrepreneur Sean Combs, better known by his stage name Puff Daddy or Diddy, saw his cable network Revolt Media and TV LLC receive nearly $2 million for payroll assistance for 134 jobs. This loan was forgiven. Combs’ net worth is estimated to be around $900 million.
Rapper Jay-Z, estimated to be worth around $1.3 billion, is associated with two companies that received PPP loans. Malibu Entertainment, a company tied to his streaming platform Tidal, received $2,106,398 in payroll assistance. This entire loan was forgiven.
Furthermore, Jay-Z’s champagne brand, Armand De Brignac Holdings, received $293,119 in payroll assistance. It is unclear if the loan was repaid or forgiven.
Rapper Kanye West received over $2.3 million for his Yeezy LLC. Around 75 percent of this loan was spent on payroll for 106 staffers. It has not been disclosed if West paid back his loan.
But it should be noted that Yeezy’s Adidas sneaker line made over $1.3 billion in profits in 2020 and $1.7 billion in 2021. West himself has an estimated net worth of about $2 billion.
Political elites also took advantage of PPP loans
Paul Pelosi, the husband of Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, has an 8.1 percent stake in EDI Associates, a restaurant business that took out two PPP loans worth over $1.7 million.
The two PPP loans went to two branches of EDI Associates in the North Bay of the San Francisco Bay Area. Around half of the loan reportedly went to the salaries of several dozen employees. In both cases, the loans, including interest, were forgiven. Paul Pelosi is worth an estimated $120 million.
Following intense criticism, President Brandon ordered the Department of Justice to open investigations that could prosecute people who fraudulently collected PPP loans. It remains to be seen whether Brandon will also go after the Pelosi family.
“It’s good to know that while small businesses were forced to close across the country, our A-list multimillionaire celebrities were well taken care of while our taxes helped their businesses thrive,” wrote Amber Crawford for 100 Percent Fed Up.
Watch this clip from InfoWars as Owen Shroyer discusses how a prostitute hired by Hunter Brandon received a $20,000 PPP loan.
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