Reality TV star Maurice Fayne was this week sentenced to 17 years in federal prison for conspiracy and wire fraud, having spent $millions in falsely claimed PPP funds on a lavish, highroller lifestyle that included blowing $5million in an Oklahoma casino…
Fayne, aka “Arkansas Mo”, found fame in Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, but it transpired that he was making his fortune through a Ponzi scheme connected to his trucking business.
The scheme to defraud investors ran for seven years, from March 2013 to May 2020, according to Acting US Attorney Kurt R. Erskine. The court heard that Fayne had spent more than $5million of investors’ money at a casino in Oklahoma, as well as to pay off personal debts.
The scheme came to light when Fayne applied for a $3.7million federal government PPP (Paycheck ProtectionProgram) loan in April of last year.
Fayne claimed his business had 107 workers, with an average monthly payroll of $1,490,200, and was being severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The PPP money was supposed to see the company through difficult times, but Fayne instead used it for a litany of false purposes, the DoJ listing them on the indictment:
- $40,000 for past-due child support;
- $50,000 for restitution owed in a previous fraud case;
- $65,000 in cash withdrawals;
- $85,000 for custom-made jewelry;
- $136,000 to lease a Rolls-Royce;
- $230,000 to associates who helped him run a Ponzi scheme;
- $907,000 to start a new business in Arkansas.
Acting U.S. Attorney Erskine…