Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta star Maurice Fayne, aka Arkansas Mo, on Wednesday was charged with federal bank fraud, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
The 37-year-old Fayne of Dacula, Georgia, who appeared on nine episodes of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta in season eight, obtained a Paycheck Protection Program loan in the name of a trucking company, but allegedly spent the funds on himself. Fayne made his initial court appearance Wednesday.
The charge stems from Fayne obtaining the PPP loan for a Georgia corporation he called Flame Trucking. The former reality TV star was able to secure a loan for more than $2 million, saying it was for his payroll. However, he allegedly used more than $1.5 million on jewelry, including a Rolex Presidential watch, a diamond bracelet and a 5.73 carat diamond ring for himself. Fayne also is accused of using the federal funds to play $40,000 in child support, according to authorities.
The recently passed PPP program is meant to assist employees and small businesses battered by the coronavirus pandemic.
“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,” Assistant Attorney General Brian A. Benczkowski said in a statement. “The department will remain steadfast in our efforts to root out and prosecute frauds against the Paycheck Protection Program.”
Fayne denied the allegations when initially interviewed by federal agents, but after a search of his home, they seized approximately $80,000 in cash, including $9,400 that Fayne had in his pockets, and the jewelry he allegedly purchased with the PPP funds, according to the DOJ. Agents also discovered a 2019 Rolls-Royce Wraith, which still had a temporary dealer tag on it. They also seized approximately $503,000 in PPP funds from three bank accounts Fayne owned or controlled, authorities said.