Maurice Fayne, also known as Arkansas Mo, the ex-husband of Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta star Karlie Redd, has been arrested and charged with bank fraud for abuse of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan scheme.
According to the charges and other information presented to the Northern District of Georgia court, Mr Fayne is the sole owner of a Georgia corporation called Flame Trucking that applied for a PPP loan stating that the business had 107 employees and an average monthly payroll of $1,490,200.
In seeking a loan of $3,725,500, Mr Fayne certified that the loan proceeds would 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.”
Flame Trucking was given a loan for $2,045,800, but instead of using it to support the company and its employees, he allegedly used more than $1.5 million to purchase $85,000 in jewelry, including a $35,000 Rolex President watch, a diamond bracelet, a 5.73 carat diamond ring for himself, and to pay $40,000 for child support.
“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 Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division. “The department will remain steadfast in our efforts to root out and prosecute frauds against the Paycheck Protection Program.”
The court heard that on May 6, Mr Fayne was interviewed by federal agents and admitted that he submitted a PPP loan application on behalf of Flame Trucking. He claimed that he used all of the PPP loan proceeds to pay payroll and other business expenses and denied using any of the PPP loan proceeds to pay his personal debts and expenses.
However, on May 11, agents searched Mr Fayne’s residence and seized approximately $80,000 in cash, and the jewelry he purchased with the PPP funds. Agents also executed seizure warrants for three bank accounts that Fayne owned or controlled and seized approximately $503,000 in PPP funds.