“Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” star Maurice Fayne has been charged with bank fraud, accused by federal prosecutors of using funds from the Paycheck Protection Program to buy jewelry, lease a car, and make child support payments, the Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported.
Fayne, who goes by the name Arkansas Mo, borrowed more than $2 million from the PPP program which was created to help struggling small businesses keep employees on the payroll during the covid-19 pandemic, the Department of Justice said in a news release.
Fayne has a business — Flame Trucking — but the money he received was not used on the business, according to federal charges. On the PPP loan application, Fayne requested more than $3.7 million for his company. He said he had 107 employees and a monthly payroll of nearly $1.5 million, prosecutors said. The reality TV star was approved for a loan of more than $2 million.
On the application, he said the loan proceeds would be used to retain workers, maintain payroll, and make payments.
But Fayne allegedly spent more than $1.5 million of the loan, including $85,000 in jewelry — a Rolex Presidential watch, a diamond bracelet, and a 5.73-carat diamond ring — for himself, prosecutors said. And he is also accused of leasing a 2019 Rolls Royce and making $40,000 in child support payments with the money.
Fayne, 37, was interviewed by federal agents on May 6. He said he submitted a PPP loan application and used the money for his trucking company, but denied using the funds to buy things for himself.
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On May 11, authorities searched the star’s Dacula, Georgia, home and seized about $80,000 in cash, authorities said. Agents also executed warrants for three of Fayne’s bank accounts, seizing more than $500,000, AJC reported.
“At a time when small businesses are struggling for survival, we cannot tolerate anyone driven by personal greed, who misdirects federal emergency assistance earmarked for keeping businesses afloat,” Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta, told Fox Atlanta News. “The FBI and our federal partners remain vigilant during this Coronavirus pandemic to make sure funds provided by programs like PPP are used as intended.”