Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta's Mo Fayne charged with bank fraud after splurging $2M PPP coronavirus loan on bling
Maurice Fayne, also known as Mo Fayne and Arkansas Mo, a trucking company owner and the fiancé of Karlie Redd, who appeared in nine episodes of ‘Love and Hip Hop: Atlanta’ Season 8, was charged with federal bank fraud, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, on Wednesday, May 13.
As per reports, the 37-year-old entrepreneur from Dacula, Georgia, obtained a Paycheck Protection Program loan in the name of a trucking company called Flame Trucking, claiming he had 107 employees and an average monthly payroll of about $1.5 million. However, he allegedly spent the funds on himself. Fayne, per The Hollywood Reporter, made his initial court appearance May 13.
The former reality TV star reportedly secured a loan for more than $2 million, claiming it was for his payroll. However, he allegedly used more than $1.5 million on jewelry, including a Rolex Presidential watch, a diamond bracelet, and a 5.73-carat diamond ring for himself. Fayne has also reportedly been accused of using the federal funds to pay $40,000 in 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,” Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski said in a statement. “The department will remain steadfast in our efforts to root out and prosecute frauds against the Paycheck Protection Program.”
According to the U.S. Department of The Treasury, the Paycheck Protection Program provides small businesses with funds to pay up to eight weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.
Loan payments under this program are deferred for six months. No collateral or personal guarantees are required. Neither the government nor lenders are to charge small businesses any fees. The program, part of the CARES Act, was instituted in April and is meant to keep workforces employed during the Coronavirus (COVID-19) crisis.
Fayne reportedly denied the allegations when initially interviewed by federal agents. Per reports, however, after a search of his home on Monday, May 11, federal agents seized approximately $80,000 in cash, including $9,400 that Fayne had in his pockets, and the jewelry he allegedly purchased with the PPP funds, according to the DOJ.
Agents also reportedly discovered a 2019 Rolls-Royce Wraith, which still had a temporary dealer tag on it, and seized approximately $503,000 in PPP funds from three bank accounts Fayne owned or controlled.