A star of VH1’s “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” was sentenced to more than 17 years in federal prison after applying for a loan meant for businesses struggling during the pandemic to cover expenses from a long-running Ponzi scheme, the Justice Department said Wednesday.
Maurice “Mo” Fayne, 38, pleaded guilty in May to conspiracy and wire fraud related to the Ponzi scheme and bank fraud and making false statements to a financial institution in relation to lying to get a business loan through the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP), according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Northern District of Georgia.
“Fayne planned to use the PPP program as a cover for his long-running Ponzi scheme,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine. “The funds the program supplies serve as a lifeline to many businesses desperately trying to stay afloat during the pandemic, and unfortunately his fraud helped deplete those precious dollars.”
The U.S. Attorney’s Office statement said that Fayne had run a multistate Ponzi scheme from March 2013 to May 2020, and defrauded more than 20 people who invested in his trucking business.
He told investors that he would use their money to operate the business but instead used it to pay his own personal debts and fund an “extravagant lifestyle,” including spending $5 million at an Oklahoma casino on one occasion, the statement said.
In April of last year, Fayne submitted a $3.7 million PPP loan application, falsely claiming that the trucking business…