Maurice Fayne Jailed for 17 Years after Gambling Away $5m of Investors Money1 year ago
Reality TV star Maurice Fayne was this week sentenced to 17 years in federal prison for conspiracy and wire fraud, having spent $millions in falsely claimed PPP funds on a lavish, highroller lifestyle that included blowing $5million in an Oklahoma casino...
Fayne, aka “Arkansas Mo”, found fame in Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, but it transpired that he was making his fortune through a Ponzi scheme connected to his trucking business.
The scheme to defraud investors ran for seven years, from March 2013 to May 2020, according to Acting US Attorney Kurt R. Erskine. The court heard that Fayne had spent more than $5million of investors’ money at a casino in Oklahoma, as well as to pay off personal debts.
The scheme came to light when Fayne applied for a $3.7million federal government PPP (Paycheck ProtectionProgram) loan in April of last year.
Fayne claimed his business had 107 workers, with an average monthly payroll of $1,490,200, and was being severely affected by the coronavirus pandemic.
The PPP money was supposed to see the company through difficult times, but Fayne instead used it for a litany of false purposes, the DoJ listing them on the indictment:
- $40,000 for past-due child support;
- $50,000 for restitution owed in a previous fraud case;
- $65,000 in cash withdrawals;
- $85,000 for custom-made jewelry;
- $136,000 to lease a Rolls-Royce;
- $230,000 to associates who helped him run a Ponzi scheme;
- $907,000 to start a new business in Arkansas.
Acting U.S. Attorney Erskine explained to the court:
“Fayne planned to use the PPP program as a cover for his long-running Ponzi scheme. The funds the program supplies serve as a lifeline to many businesses desperately trying to stay afloat during the pandemic, and unfortunately his fraud helped deplete those precious dollars.”
Fayne lied to federal investigators when questioned about his PPP loan, a search of his home last year uncovering $80,000 in cash and bank accounts revealing another $503,000.
U.S. District Judge Mark H. Cohen sentenced Fayne to 17 years, six months in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release, and Fayne was also ordered to pay $4,465,865.55 to the victims of his frauds.
Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta, stated:
“We won’t tolerate anyone driven by personal greed to pocket American taxpayer money that should be going to those who need it.”
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