Trucking Company Owner Who Misused PPP Loans Indicted in $5 MILLION Ponzi Scheme
Atlanta, GA – A Georgia-based reality TV personality has been indicted by a federal grand jury on multiple charges connected with misuse of funds from a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) he obtained in the name of a trucking company.
According to the Department of Justice (DOJ), Maurice Fayne, 37, of Dacula, was indicted on Wednesday, June 24 after being arrested in May.
Fayne is also known as “Arkansas Mo” in the VH1 reality TV show “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta.”
He is charged with bank fraud, making a false statement to a federally-insured financial institution, and money laundering in connection with the PPP loans.
In addition, the reality show personality is charged with wire fraud in connection with a Ponzi scheme that was uncovered in the course of the PPP fraud investigation.
As Transportation Nation Network (TNN) reported last month, Fayne signed and submitted a PPP loan application to United Community Bank (UCB) in the name of Flame Trucking on April 15, 2020.
In seeking a loan in excess of $3.7 million, Fayne claimed the trucking company had 107 employees and had an average monthly payroll of $1,490,200.
Authorities say Fayne stated 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.
As soon as Fayne received the money, investigators say he used the PPP funds for “improper purposes,” including:
• $136,000 down payment to lease a 2019 Rolls-Royce;
• $85,000 for custom-made jewelry;
• $65,000 in cash withdrawals;
• $40,000 for past-due child support;
• $50,000 for restitution owed in a previous fraud case;
• $230,000 to associates who helped him run a Ponzi scheme;
• $907,000 to help an associate start a new business.
Authorities say certain details from those financial transactions raised red flags at UCB.
As a result, the bank requested Fayne to provide additional information about Flame Trucking’s finances.
Fayne responded by sending UCB fraudulent bank statements from Arvest Bank for the months of October, November and December 2019.
However, bank records indicate Arvest had shut down Flame Trucking’s accounts in September 2019.
Authorities soon got involved and interviewed Fayne regarding the PPP loan usage, and say he claimed he used “all” of the funds to pay payroll and other business expenses for Flame Trucking.
He denied using any of the PPP funds for personal use.
During the course of the investigation, federal agents seized eight Kenworth T-680 tractors and six Great Dane refrigerated trailers from Fayne.
In addition, authorities say they also seized $617,000 from seven bank accounts, almost $80,000 in cash from Fayne’s home, $136,000 used as a down payment on a 2019 Rolls-Royce, a $52,000 Rolex watch, a $24,500 diamond bracelet and a $3,750 diamond ring.
Further, investigators claim from August 2014 through May 2020, Flame Trucking “never generated enough revenue to cover its expenses.”
Regardless, authorities say Fayne was able to obtain investments in excess of $5 million from approximately 20 individuals to put into Flame Trucking.
Fayne allegedly promised investors he would use the money to purchase and operate trucks.
Instead, authorities claim Fayne used the money “to pay his personal debts and expenses, and to fund an extravagant lifestyle for himself.”
He is accused of transferring more than $5 million to an unnamed casino in order to cover personal gambling and entertainment expenses.