Rapper Maurice “Mo” Fayne was sentenced Wednesday to 17 years in prison for crimes including the misuse of millions of dollars in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loans.
Fayne, who appeared as Arkansas Mo on a season of VH1 reality show Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta, must also pay $4,465,866 in restitution for his role in a federal bank fraud that saw him squander his ill-gotten gains on a lavish lifestyle.
The loan funding 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 PPP rules.
Fayne, who lives in Dacula, Ga., was arrested in May 2020 on charges of making false statements on his application for the PPP funding as well as bank fraud and conspiracy and wire fraud related to a Ponzi scheme, as Breitbart News reported.
The 38-year-old went on to plead guilty — TMZ reported he did so after cutting a deal with prosecutors to avoid even more time — and he was convicted in May 2021.
He used the cash stream to buy $85,000 worth of jewelry; a $136,000 Rolls-Royce; $40,000 in past-due child support; and $90,000 to start a new business in Atlanta, according to TMZ.
Authorities said the former reality TV star Ponzi scheme involved him posing as the owner of Flame Trucking, a profitable trucking company, from August 2014 through May 2020.
The business, however, never actually made enough money to cover its expenses, according to the US Attorney’s Office.
Fayne paid an additional $230,000 to people helping him to run a Ponzi scheme.
According to the Justice Department, he had run the scheme from March 2013 to May 2020, taking money from people who intended to invest in his business and using it to “pay his personal debts and expenses and to fund an extravagant lifestyle for himself.”