Federal officials have arrested Maurice Fayne, who stars in VH1’s Love & Hip-Hop: Atlanta, for allegedly defrauding the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP).
The U.S. Department of Justice announced the stunning development in an official government release, which was shared with Digital Music News.
Fayne, commonly known as Arkansas Mo, was booked “on federal bank fraud charges” after obtaining an allegedly fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program loan on behalf of his Flame Trucking company.
In his PPP loan application, Fayne stated that Flame Trucking employs 107 workers with “an average monthly payroll of $1,490,200.” These figures, which represent an average annual salary of over $167,000 per team member, may well have indicated to the feds that Fayne was being less than forthright. For reference, the average annual salary for a U.S. truck driver is about $61,000, according to figures submitted to Indeed.
These suspicions were seemingly confirmed after Fayne received a PPP loan for $2,045,800. The Department of Justice’s website relays that Arkansas Mo promptly spent the cash not on Flame Trucking’s operations, but on himself, in the form of roughly $85,000 worth of jewelry (including “a Rolex Presidential watch”), approximately $40,000 in child support payments, and more.
Agents searched Arkansas Mo’s home on Monday, May 11th, and found ample jewelry and cash from the PPP loan on his person. He was subsequently taken into custody and charged.
Based upon information retrieved through Quick Transport Solutions, a curator of trucking services and resources, one Flame Trucking, Inc. does in fact operate out of Lawrenceville, Georgia, though it only has two employees. Additionally, its listed address appears to be that of a residence.
More than a few of the loans issued under the Paycheck Protection Program have faced ample scrutiny as of late. Yesterday, we reported that LiveXLive, a publicly traded company with a market valuation of roughly $200 million, had applied for – and received – a $2 million PPP loan despite having recently acquired PodcastOne in an $18.1 million deal.
At the time of this writing, Fayne/Arkansas Mo hadn’t yet commented publicly on his arrest or the charges he’s facing.