Trucking news and briefs for Friday, Sept. 17, 2021:

Reality TV star, trucking company owner sentenced for PPP fraud, Ponzi scheme

Maurice Fayne, who starred in the reality TV series “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” and owned Flame Trucking, has been sentenced to more than 17 years in federal prison for conspiracy and wire fraud related to a Ponzi scheme, and for bank fraud and making false statements to a financial institution related to a Paycheck Protection Program loan application.

According to Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine, from March 2013 through May 2020, Fayne ran a multistate Ponzi scheme that defrauded more than 20 people who invested in his trucking business. Fayne promised that he would use the investors’ money to operate the business, but instead, he used the money to pay his personal debts and expenses and to fund an extravagant lifestyle for himself. During the scheme, Fayne spent more than $5 million at a casino in Oklahoma.

In April 2020, Fayne submitted a $3.7 million PPP loan application to United Community Bank, falsely claiming that his trucking business had 107 employees and an average monthly payroll of $1,490,200. Fayne promised to use the PPP loan proceeds to retain workers and maintain payroll or make mortgage interest payments, lease payments, and utility payments related to his trucking business.

According to Erskine, however, Fayne used the PPP loan proceeds to pay child support and restitution owed in a previous fraud case,…

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