Many things have changed since the coronavirus pandemic hit, but some things seem to never change. The federal Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was created to help small businesses keep their employees on payroll and their rent paid during these difficult times. But, unfortunately, there are always those who don’t play by the rules.
It seems that one of those people may be “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” star Maurice Fayne, aka Arkansas Mo, who was arrested Wednesday, May 13, 2020.
According to U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak of the Northern District of Georgia, here are the charges he faces and other information presented in court:
“Maurice Fayne is the sole owner of a Georgia corporation called Flame Trucking. On April 15, 2020, Fayne signed and submitted to United Community Bank (“UCB”) a PPP loan application in the name of Flame Trucking stating that the business had 107 employees and an average monthly payroll of $1,490,200. In seeking a loan in the amount of $3,725,500, 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.”
“UCB ultimately funded the loan for $2,045,800. Within days, Fayne allegedly used more than $1.5 million of the PPP loan proceeds to purchase $85,000 in jewelry, including a Rolex Presidential watch, a diamond bracelet, and a 5.73-carat diamond ring for himself, to lease a 2019 Rolls Royce Wraith, to make loan payments, and to pay $40,000 for child support. Such payments are not an authorized use of PPP funds under the CARES Act.
“On May 6, 2020, Fayne was interviewed by federal agents and admitted that he submitted a PPP loan application on behalf of Flame Trucking. Fayne claimed that he used all of the PPP loan proceeds to pay payroll and other business expenses incurred by Flame Trucking and denied using any of the PPP loan proceeds to pay his personal debts and expenses.
“On May 11, 2020, agents executed a search at Fayne’s residence in Dacula and seized approximately $80,000 in cash, including $9,400 that Fayne had in his pockets, 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.”