Reality star Maurice Fayne, also known as Arkansas Mo, was arrested Wednesday on federal bank fraud charges after abusing his Payroll Protection Program (PPP) loan.
“Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” star Maurice Fayne was arrested on charges of federal bank fraud after allegedly stealing money from a government program designed to help small struggling businesses during the coronavirus pandemic https://t.co/2SE7XKaLAC
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) May 13, 2020
Fayne “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,” according to Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski.
As previously reported, the PPP was launched on April 3 as part of the $2.2 trillion CARES Act. The program was designed to give loans to small businesses to help lessen the economic burden caused by the coronavirus pandemic. The funds reportedly ran out after less than two weeks. (RELATED: Los Angeles Lakers Received $4.6 Million From Federal Relief Program During Coronavirus Pandemic, Returned It)
Fayne applied for a PPP loan through his trucking company Flame Trucking. He asked for a $3,725,500 loan to pay the 107 employees he claimed he had on his payroll, court documents obtained by the Daily Beast showed.
Instead, Fayne used the roughly $2 million loan he received to buy a Rolex watch, a 7.73 carat diamond ring and a diamond bracelet, federal authorities alleged.
“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,” FBI Atlanta Special Agent Chris Hacker said.