Kanye West – Worth $3.2+ Billion – Received $2.4 Million in PPP Funding for His Sneaker Company

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A famous singer’s shoe company, a millionaire actor’s film institute, and the California wineries of a legendary filmmaker, probably were not the “little guys” taxpayers thought Congress was targeting in last year’s coronavirus relief Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).

When our auditors at OpenTheBooks.com mapped the big PPP loans (the nearly 83,000 loans between $1 million and $10 million), a few familiar names popped up.

Kanye West, who claims a net worth of $3.2 billion, took $2.4 million for his clothing and sneaker company, Yeezy LLC, which the Wall Street Journal noted had a value of $2.9 billion, with $1.5 billion in yearly revenues.

Robert Redford’s Sundance Institute received $3.04 million in PPP loans. The non-profit’s IRS 990 lists $55.4 million in assets (FY2018).


Two affiliated companies of the legendary Godfather director and vineyard owner Francis Ford Coppola received PPP funding including Francis Ford Coppola Presents LLC ($7.3 million) and Niebaum Coppola Estate Winery, LP ($1.2 million).

A spokesperson told OpenTheBooks.com: “Francis Ford Coppola Winery and Niebaum Coppola Estate Winery, LP applied for the PPP loans based on business necessity and are using the entirety of the loans on wages and benefits to save the employment of its wineries, hospitality, and restaurant workforce during these uncertain times. We are family-owned wine businesses, and the PPP loans have enabled us to bring back over two hundred of our Direct to Consumer employees, even though we may not have work for all them for the foreseeable future.”

The PPP loan program was created to help businesses keep employees on their books, and off unemployment, during the coronavirus pandemic. The loans were forgivable – treated as a grant – as long as the businesses retained their employees and did not cut their paychecks.

So, it is taxpayers who ultimately will pay for most of these loans.

The #WasteOfTheDay is presented by the forensic auditors at OpenTheBooks.com.

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