Big Jake, tallest horse in the world and a ‘big jokester,’ dies in Wisconsin

Jerry Gilbert brushes Big Jake at the Midwest Horse Fair in Madison, Wisc., in this Friday, April 11, 2014, file photo. The world’s tallest horse has died in Wisconsin. WMTV reported Monday, July 5, 2021, that the 20-year-old Belgian named “Big Jake” died several weeks ago. Big Jake lived on Smokey Hollow Farm in Poynette. Big Jake was 6-foot-10 and weighed 2,500 pounds. The Guinness Book of World Records certified him as the world’s tallest living horse in 2010. The farm’s owner, Jerry Gilbert, says Big Jake was a “superstar” and a “truly magnificent animal.” (AP Photo/Carrie Antlfinger, File)
Jerry Gilbert brushes Big Jake at the Midwest Horse Fair in Madison, Wisconsin, in 2014.

  • Big Jake, who was the world’s tallest horse, died in Wisconsin, according to reports.
  • He stood 6 foot 10 inches tall and weighed 2,500 pounds.
  • His empty stall is set to become a memorial.
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Big Jake, a towering 20-year-old Belgian who was certified the world’s tallest horse in 2010, has died in Wisconsin, according to multiple news outlets.

Jerry Gilbert, who owns the Wisconsin farm where Big Jake lived, told WMTV that the horse died a couple of weeks ago.

“The other horses know,” Gilbert told the TV station. “I think they have their own grieving time because Jake was the center of attention around here.”

The Guinness Book of World Records certified Big Jake as the world’s tallest living horse in 2010, WMTV reported. He stood 6 foot 10-and-three-quarters inches tall (a measurement that does not include his head and neck) and weighed 2,500 pounds.

He weighed 240 pounds at birth, Gilbert told the station – about 100 pounds more than a typical Belgian foal.

“He loves to play around and play with people’s hair,” Gilbert said of Big Jake in a 2012 YouTube video. “He’s kind of a big jokester, actually.” Big Jake also loved belly rubs, Gilbert told Guinness World Records.

He also ate more than average-sized horses: a full bucket of grain twice per day in addition to a bale of hay each day.

Gilbert plans to keep Big Jake’s stall empty, he told WMTV, and memorialize the horse with a brick on the outside of his stall featuring his name and picture.

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‘Deely Nuts,’ ‘Beefy King,’ and other fake businesses reportedly got $7 million in COVID-19 PPP loans through one lender

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President Joe Biden.

  • Fake firms collected $7 million in COVID-19 small business relief through online lender Kabbage, ProPublica found.
  • Most fake businesses were registered as farms, with names including “Deely Nuts” and “Beefy King.”
  • Kabbage processed 378 loans to fraudulent companies via the Paycheck Protection Program, ProPublica reported.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Fake businesses received a collective $7 million in federal COVID-19 relief loans last year through online lending platform Kabbage, and most were registered as farms, according to an investigation by ProPublica.

Kabbage processed 378 loans to bogus businesses under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) in the scheme’s first round of funding from March to August last year, the investigation found. Non-existent farms claiming to be based in New Jersey, such as “Ritter Wheat Club” and “Deely Nuts,” each received $20,833, the maximum loan available to sole proprietorships, ProPublica reported.

The Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES), passed in March 2020, funded the PPP scheme, and was intended to to help struggling businesses keep employees on their payroll and stay afloat during the pandemic.

The investigation also found that “Beefy King,” a fake cattle ranch registered in New Jersey, filed for a $20,567 loan. The money was registered to the address of Joe Mancini, mayor of Long Beach Township, who denied any knowledge of the application.

“There’s no farming here: We’re a sandbar, for Christ’s sake,” Mancini told ProPublica on the phone.

ProPublica checked New Jersey business records for the farms and found that none of them existed. Hundreds of PPP applicants across 28 states didn’t show up in state registration records, and other lenders had nonexistent businesses on their books too, not just Kabbage, ProPublica reported.

The story is part of a wider problem: The Small Business Administration, which connects business owners to lenders, estimated in January that it approved loans for 55,000 potentially ineligible businesses, and that 43,000 received more money than needed for their payrolls.

ProPublica started investigating the loans after a New Jersey resident got in contact, saying his name was attached to a Kabbage loan linked to a “melon farm.”

The lender, which American Express acquired in August last year, processed nearly 300,000 loans in the first round of PPP funding, according to ProPublica.

“At any point in the loan process, if fraudulent activity was suspected or confirmed, it was reported to FinCEN, the SBA’s Office of the Inspector General and other federal investigators, with Kabbage providing its full cooperation,” Kabbage spokesman Paul Bernardini told ProPublica in an emailed statement.

Kabbage did not immediately respond to Insider’s request for comment.

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