In May, former reality TV star Maurice Fayne was hit with federal bank fraud charges for misusing a $2 million coronavirus relief business loan, but now he is also being charged with promulgating a $5 million Ponzi scheme.
Fayne, who appeared as Arkansas Mo on a season of VH1 reality show Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta, was charged in May with misusing more than $2 million in loans that were supposed to go to the employees of his trucking business, the Department of Justice said in a press release.
The 37-year-old TV star applied for a $3 million relief loan under the Paycheck Protection Program, a coronavirus relief program meant to safeguard small businesses’ payrolls. Fayne claimed the loan was to protect the paychecks of the 107 employees of his trucking business. The loan was supposed to be used to “retain workers and maintain payroll or make mortgage interest payments, lease payments, and utility payments, as specified under the Paycheck Protection Program Rule.”
After taking in a more than $2 million installment from the loan, the DOJ says he immediately spent $85,000 on jewelry, including a Rolex Presidential watch, a diamond bracelet, a 5.73-carat diamond ring for himself. Officials also say he spent $40,000 on child support, and a 2019 Rolls Royce.
“The defendant allegedly stole money meant to assist hard-hit employees and businesses during these difficult times and instead greedily used the money to bankroll his lavish purchases of jewelry and other personal items,” said Brian Benczkowski, an assistant attorney general with the Justice Department. “The department will remain steadfast in our efforts to root out and prosecute frauds against the Paycheck Protection Program.”
But as the investigation into Fayne’s activities commenced, prosecutors now say he also perpetrated a $5 million Ponzi scheme connected with his trucking company, according to the Daily Mail. Fayne has now been indicted in Georgia by a federal grand jury for running a fake trucking company.
The indictment accuses Fayne of taking $5 million in investments from 20 people to start a trucking company that investigators say never really made much money or did much business. Indeed, prosecutors claim that Fayne used a large portion of the investor’s money to pay for his lavish lifestyle instead of funding the company.
Red flags were raised when Fayne applied for the PPP loan using his trucking company as the basis for the loan. But bankers began finding fraudulent statements in the application about the finances for his company.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Facebook at: facebook.com/Warner.Todd.Huston.