Kanye West, Reese Witherspoon and other celebrities have been forgiven for PPP loans

Despite being worth millions of dollars, Kanye West, Tom Brady, Khloe Kardashian, Reese Witherspoon and other celebrities not only got Paycheck Protection Program loans for their businesses thanks to the COVID- 19 from the federal government, but they got most or all of those loans. , according to a new report.

Companies linked to the family of senior Trump administration adviser Jared Kushner and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband, Paul Pelosi, also received PPP loans and then were released to repay the loans, according to a Daily Mail report titled “It Pays to Be Rich.”

Kanye West, left, and his son Saint West sit between Golden State Warriors co-owner Joe Lacob and Peter Guber as they watch the game against the Boston Celtics in the third quarter of their NBA game at Chase Center in San Francisco, in California, Wednesday, March 16, 2022. (Ray Chavez/Bay Area News Group)

Previous reports suggest that very wealthy people and very large corporations have greatly benefited from the program, which was created in March 2020 under the $2.2 trillion CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security) Act. the Trump administration. The loans were intended for small businesses and nonprofits affected by the pandemic, but reports quickly surfaced that many small businesses said they were struggling to get loans while dozens of billionaire-owned companies and private equity firms have successfully secured funding, Forbes reported.

Analysis by the Washington Post showed that more than half of the roughly $522 billion in loans made through November 2020 went to just 5% of more than 5 million recipients. The SBA initially said 87% of loans went to small businesses, but according to Forbes, citing Washington Post analysis, the majority of total loans issued were actually to larger businesses. Only 28% of total funds were used for loans under $150,000.

FILE - In this Aug. 13, 2020, file photo, White House Senior Adviser Jared Kushner speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington.  A Maryland judge has ruled that an apartment company co-owned by Kushner, the son-in-law of former President Donald Trump, repeatedly violated state consumer protection laws by collecting debts without them. required licenses, charging tenants inappropriate fees and misrepresenting the status of rental units.  .  (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File)
Former White House senior adviser Jared Kushner speaks during a press briefing at the White House in Washington in 2020. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik, File) Andrew Harnik/Associated Press

As for the program’s famous recipients, Kanye West, Tom Brady and Jared Kushner have emerged as the best poster children for its questionable priorities.

Rapper and fashion mogul West received millions in PPP loans in 2020 for his fashion line Yeezy shortly after declaring himself a billionaire, signing a 10-year collaboration with Gap and going public with plans to build a 52,000 square foot mansion on his ranch in Wyoming, The Daily Beast reported in July 2020.

His Yeezy LLC borrowed $2,363,585, of which $1,772,689 was spent on payroll for 106 staff members, the Daily Mail said. While the status of that loan is “undisclosed,” the Daily Mail said a Yeezy subsidiary borrowed $15,625 for an employee and all but $147 was forgiven.

Generally, borrowers are eligible for loan forgiveness if the loan has been spent on personnel costs and employee and compensation levels have been maintained, according to the SBA. The Daily Mail said borrowers can also be forgiven the 1% interest.

Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 28, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana.  (Andy Lyons, Getty Images)
Tom Brady of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers against the Indianapolis Colts at Lucas Oil Stadium on November 28, 2021 in Indianapolis, Indiana. (Andy Lyons, Getty Images)

Brady received a PPP loan of $960,855 for TB12 Inc, the sports performance and nutrition company he co-founded with body trainer Alex Guerroro, the Daily Mail reported. The loan was to help secure 80 jobs.

Following news that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback had received the loan, someone in February 2021 launched a Change.org petition saying he should be magnanimous and return it. Some 180,000 people have signed it. Brady reportedly earned over $350 million during his NFL career.

“By accepting this money, he is playing the government no better than any crook would play a person on the street,” the petition reads.

Not only did Brady’s company fail to repay the loan, but they asked not to repay it. The full amount of the loan, plus interest of nearly $12,000, has been fully forgiven, the Daily Mail said.

Meanwhile, Kushner’s family secured three PPP loans for various businesses, while he helped lead his father-in-law’s response to the pandemic, according to the Daily Mail.

The Kushner family’s newspaper publisher, Observer Holdings, LLC, was approved for the first round of loans on April 27, 2020, the Daily Mail reported. The company received a loan of $800,407, which saved 41 jobs. The loan, including interest, was completely cancelled.

The Kushner family’s hotel business, Princeton Forrestal, LLC, received a loan of $1,569,977 in April 2020. The loan, including interest, was forgiven, the Daily Mail said Esplanade Livingston, LLC, owner of land housing the Kushner family’s Westminster Hotel in New Jersey. , received a loan of $630,735 to pay 56 employees. The entire loan was also cancelled.

Paul Pelosi is another politically connected figure who has a business that benefited from the PPP pardon. Paul Pelosi owns an 8.1% stake in EDI Associates, a North Bay-based catering company that has taken out two PPP loans, the Daily Mail said. His loans of $711,708 and $996,392 have both been forgiven.

Reese Witherspoon, whose clothing and lifestyle company, Draper James LLC, had his $975,472 PPP loan debt erased, while Jay-Z’s Malibu Entertainment was fired without repaying his full loan amount of $2,106,398. Witherspoon and Jay-Z are worth $400 million and $1.3 billion, respectively.

Khloe Kardashian’s denim brand, Good American LLC, didn’t have to repay its $1,245,405 loan, while Sean Comb’s cable network, Revolt Media and TV LLC, was also forgiven for its $1,245,405 loan. $1,929,252, the Daily Mail said. The touring companies of rock bands Pearl Jam and Green Day also saw their loans of $629,335 and $452,302 almost or entirely forgiven.

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