Music megastars including Post Malone, Chris Brown, LeAnn Rimes and Nickelback reportedly received millions of dollars from a taxpayer-funded program intended to help venues and musicians struggling during the Covid-19 pandemic.
- Singer Post Malone and R&B artist Chris Brown were reported to be among the artists who received the maximum $10 million payout from the COVID-19 relief program.
- Post Malone has an estimated net worth of around $45 million and owns multiple properties, including a luxury $3 million compound in Utah.
- Rapper Lil Wayne received $8.9 million, while singers LeAnn Rimes and Nickelback each received $2 million from the relief program.
- The aid was intended to support workers such as lighting technicians, costumers, drivers, and security personnel affected by canceled tours and concerts.
- The investigation found that an asset-management firm in Los Angeles successfully submitted grants for 97 artists, venues, and managers, securing a combined $260 million.
- The program allowed recipients to use the funds for existing mortgage payments, taxes, payroll, and other purposes.
- The Shuttered Venue Program, as per the SBA spokesperson, aimed to help save entertainment venues and operators during the COVID-19 pandemic.
- Almost half of the grant money went to businesses with fewer than five full-time employees.
- The government is still assessing the extent of fraudulent claims in pandemic-era aid, with an SBA report suggesting potential squandering of $200 billion from relief programs.
- The watchdog estimates that less than 1 percent of grants dispersed through the Shuttered Venue Program were fraudulent, rejecting the likelihood of widespread fraud.