Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta‘s Maurice Fayne (aka Arkansas Mo) has been arrested and charged with federal bank fraud after using millions of dollars from a COVID-19 emergency loan on jewelry, the Department of Justice said in a news release Wednesday.
Fayne submitted a PPP (Paycheck Protection Program) loan application for his company, Flame Trucking, on April 15 and certified that the loan proceeds would be used to “retain workers and maintain payroll or make mortgage interest payments, lease payments, and utility payments, as specified under the Paycheck Protection Program Rule,” according to an affidavit for the criminal complaint.
Fayne then used more that $1.5 million of the funds to buy $85,000 in jewelry, including a Rolex watch, a diamond bracelet, and a 5.73 carat diamond ring for himself, according to the release.
“The defendant allegedly took advantage of the emergency lending provisions of the Paycheck Protection Program that were intended to assist employees and small businesses battered by the Coronavirus,” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak in the release. “We will investigate and charge anyone who inappropriately diverts these critical funds for their own personal gain.”
An attorney for Fayne blamed “considerable confusion” about PPP guidelines in a statement to CNN. “There has been considerable confusion among small business owners about PPP guidelines — particularly around the question of whether and how business owners are permitted to pay themselves a salary or take an owner’s draw. I hope these issues to be better fleshed out in the weeks and months to come,” attorney Tanya Miller said in the statement.
Fayne appeared on season 8 of VH1’s Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta as the love interest of longtime cast member Karlie Redd.
Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy.