Trucking Company Owner Used $1.5M in PPP Loans on Rolls Royce, Jewelry, Child Support
Dacula, GA – A Georgia-based reality TV personality was arrested on federal bank fraud after allegedly misusing funds from a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) he obtained in the name of a trucking company as a part of government COVID-19 relief efforts.
According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), Maurice Fayne, 37, of Dacula, made his first appearance on Wednesday before U.S. Magistrate Judge Justin Anand on charges of bank fraud.
Fayne is also known as “Arkansas Mo” in the VH1 reality TV show “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta.”
Prosecutors allege Fayne used over $1.5 million in PPP loans given to Flame Trucking — of which Fayne is the sole owner, according to court documents — to purchase lavish items, such as jewelry and diamonds, as well as to pay child support.
The DOJ said Fayne signed and submitted a PPP loan application to United Community Bank for over $3.7 million in the name of Flame Trucking on April 15.
In the application, Fayne stated the company has 107 employees and an average monthly payroll of $1,490,200.
He certified the loan would be used to “retain workers and maintain payroll or make mortgage interest payments, lease payments, and utility payments, as specified under the [PPP] Rule.”
Fayne was approved for, and received, a loan for $2,045,800.
Within days, the DOJ said, 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, a 5.73 carat diamond ring for himself, and to pay $40,000 for 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,” said Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.
On May 6, Fayne told federal agents during an interview he used all of the PPP loans “to pay payroll and other business expenses incurred by Flame Trucking.”
He denied using any of the PPP loans for personal debts and expenses, the DOJ said.
However, on May 11, agents searched Fayne’s home in Dacula, where $80,000 in cash was seized, which included almost $10,000 in cash from Fayne’s pockets.
In addition, agents discovered a 2019 Rolls-Royce Wraith (MSRP: $327,000), which still had temporary dealer tags on it.
A seizure warrant was executed for three of Fayne’s bank accounts and approximately $503,000 in PPP funds were seized from those accounts.
The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Small Business Association Office of Inspector General Eastern Region.
Photo: VH1 YouTube screenshot