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Fraud Friday — Reality TV Star Uses PPP Loan to Purchase Luxury Jewelry

May 15, 2020

By Caity Witucki
Contributing Editor, Fraud Friday

Fraud Friday Reality TV Star Uses PPP Loan to Purchase Luxury Jewelry

Reality TV personality, Maurice Fayne, who stars in 9 episodes of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, has been arrested on federal bank fraud charges arising from a $2 million Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan that he claims to have obtained on behalf of his business.

According to the charges and other information presented in court, Fayne submitted a PPP loan application to United Community Bank on April 15, 2020. On the application, Fayne stated that his business had 107 employees and an average monthly payroll of $1.4 million. Fayne then 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.”

However, days after the PPP loan was disbursed, Fayne allegedly used more than $1.5 million of the loan proceeds to purchase luxury jewelry for himself, including a Rolex Presidential watch, a diamond bracelet, and 5.7 carat diamond ring. He then used an additional $40,000 from the PPP loan to pay child support. 

On May 11, 2020, federal agents executed a search at Fayne’s residence and seized approximately $80,000 in cash. Agents also seized the jewelry that was purchased with PPP funds and a 2019 Rolls-Royce Wraith which still had a temporary dealer tag.

“At a time when small businesses are struggling for survival, we cannot tolerate anyone driven by personal greed, who misdirects federal emergency assistance earmarked for keeping businesses afloat,” says FBI Special Agent, Chris Hacker. “The FBI and our federal partners remain vigilant during this Coronavirus pandemic to make sure funds provided by programs like PPP are used as intended.”

The charges against Maurice Fayne are merely allegations and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Fayne’s final court date has not yet been set. 

Sources:
U.S. Department of Justice – Reality TV Personality Charged with Bank Fraud

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