Love & Hip Hop Atlanta star, Arkansas Mo, has been charged with federal bank fraud charges after investigators discovered he used funds from a $2 million Paycheck Protection Program loan to buy luxury items for himself.
Mo, born Maurice Fayne, allegedly purchased $85,000 worth of jewelry, including a Rolex Presidential watch, a diamond bracelet, and a 5.73-carat diamond ring. He also paid $40,000 in back child support.
Fayne obtained the loan under the name of Flame Towing, his entrepreneurial business. He applied for a loan for $3,725,500 to “retain workers and maintain payroll or make mortgage interest payments, lease payments, and utility payments, as specified under the Paycheck Protection Program Rule.”
He was ultimately awarded more than $2,000,000 by United Community Bank.
According to MSN, The US Department of Justice also seized $80,000 in cash from the home and found a 2019 Rolls-Royce Wraith that still had temporary tags on it. Agents also seized three bank accounts into which Fayne had allegedly transferred $503,000 worth of PPP funds.
The Paycheck Protection Program was a part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act). The program was set up to help small businesses pay their employees and maintain their businesses during 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 appeared on eight episodes of Love & Hip Hop Atlanta during season eight. He was previously engaged to a fellow cast member, Karlie Redd. However, during this current season, Redd revealed that the two had actually married and she was getting a divorce.
Fayne has denied the allegations against him but has not released an official statement.
The alleged crime set social media abuzz including other Black entrepreneurs who were denied loans through the PPP. A new report from the Small Business Administration which was tasked to oversee the program details the sad fact that Black and Hispanic businesses were largely shut out of access to the funding.