- A “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” star was arrested on federal bank fraud charges.
- He is accused of spending money he applied for through the Paycheck Protection Program on things like jewelry and child support.
- According to the charges, Maurice Fayne applied for the program under a business name called “Flame Trucking.”
- He is accused of requesting close to $4 million dollars and claiming he had 107 employees with a monthly payroll of close to $1.5 million.
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Maurice Fayne, who stars in “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” was arrested on federal charges of bank fraud and is accused of getting a Paycheck Protection Program loan under the name “Flame Trucking.”
According to a Department of Justice press release, On April 15, Fayne put in a PPP loan application with United Community Bank (UCB) and claimed his business had 107 employees with $1,490,200 in average monthly payroll.
“The defendant allegedly took advantage of the emergency lending provisions of the Paycheck Protection Program that were intended to assist employees and small businesses battered by the Coronavirus,” US Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak, of the Northern District of Georgia, said according to the release.
According to the charges, Fayne was seeking a loan for $3,725,500, which he certified would be used for employee paychecks and mortgage payments. He is accused of receiving $2,045,800 and spending $1.5 million on himself.
“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,” Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski, of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, said according to the statement. “The department will remain steadfast in our efforts to root out and prosecute frauds against the Paycheck Protection Program.”
He is accused of using the PPP loan to buy “$85,000 in jewelry, including a Rolex Presidential watch, a diamond bracelet, a 5.73-carat diamond ring for himself, and to pay $40,000 for child support,” within days of receiving the funds.
“Such payments are not authorized use of PPP funds under the CARES Act,” the statement said.
The PPP loans which were passed as part of the CARES Act at the end of March were meant to help small businesses handle the economic impact of the coronavirus pandemic. The plan initially included $349 billion “in forgivable loans to small businesses for job retention and certain other expenses,” before congress approved an additional $300 billion in April.
According to the release, Fayne claimed that the money was used for payroll and business expenses when he was questioned by federal agents on May 6.
Fayne’s home was searched on May 11 and police seized jewelry, a Rolls-Royce Wraith, which still had temporary dealer tags on it, and approximately $80,000 in cash. Around $503,000 was also seized after agents got warrants for three bank accounts tied to Fayne.