A star of the reality TV show Love and Hip-Hop: Atlanta, Maurice Fayne, isn’t feeling the love from judges, as he has been sentenced to 17 and a half years in federal prison. The sentence comes after he pleaded guilty to several crimes, including operating a Ponzi scheme and fraud tied to the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
Fayne Wired Illegal $5 Million to Choctaw Casino and Resort
As told by prosecutors, Fayne used the illegal funds to lead a lavish lifestyle. He even used the funds to transfer $5 million to his gambling account at Choctaw Casino and Resort, located in Oklahoma. However, the documents do not have any specific details on whether Fayne used the money to gamble. The newly established Choctaw Casino in Oklahoma is likely targeting players from North Texas.
Also known as Arkansas Mo, Fayne appeared in Season 8 of Love and Hip-Hop, a docu-soap that keeps tabs of up-and-coming rappers in Atlanta who are trying to make it on the rap scene. Fayne appeared in 9 episodes of the show and was introduced as the love interest of Karlie Redd.
The resident of Dacula, GA, aged 38, was arrested in May of last year. He was placed in cuffs on the suspicion of making false statements on a PPP application that was submitted to the United Community Bank, which was worth $3.7 million. Fayne claimed that the money will be used for his trucking business during COVID-19, specifically for lease payments, utility payments, retaining workers and maintaining payroll or make mortgage interest payments.
But, the reality was different. Instead of using the money for the aforementioned payments, he splashed it on a Rolex, custom-made jewelry and leased a Rolls-Royce, as told by prosecutors. Other fundings included $907,000 to start a new Arkansas business, $40,000 in past child support and $50,000 to pay restitution on a previous fraud case.
Ponzi Scheme Was Also Uncovered in the Investigation
While the investigation on Fayne’s wrongdoings was undergoing, a multistate Ponzi scheme was also uncovered by federal agents. The scheme defrauded around 20 or more people who had invested in Fayne’s trucking business, Flame Trucking Inc., from 2013 to 2020.
Apparently, Fayne spoke highly of his trucking business to the investors and said that it was a profitable venture, even though it did not make enough profit to cover all its expenses. He also said that the money they gave would be used to buy more vehicles and thus, fund the expansion of the business when, in reality, he used it for his lavish lifestyle. In typical Ponzi scheme fashion, new investments were used to pay returns to older investors until the scam was uncovered.
In May, Fayne pleaded guilty to several charges, including wire fraud, to avoid a harsher sentence and conspiracy. He was ordered to pay $4,465,865.55 to the victims and, after his prison time, will serve five more years under supervised release.