ATLANTA- 37 year old reality TV personality Maurice Fayne, aka Arkansas Mo, was arrested on federal bank fraud charges on Wednesday, May 13 in Atlanta, Georgia.  Fayne is a member of the reality tv show series Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta.

The defendant allegedly embezzled money from the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan that he obtained under the name of his business, Flame Trucking. The loan was designated to assist financially impacted employees during the public health emergency. “We will investigate and charge anyone who inappropriately diverts these critical funds for their own personal gain.” said U.S. Attorney Byung J. “BJay” Pak of the Northern District of Georgia.

The PPP allows qualifying small-businesses and other organizations to receive loans with a maturity of two years and an interest rate of 1 percent.  PPP loan proceeds must be used by businesses on payroll costs, interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities.  The PPP allows the interest and principal to be forgiven if businesses spend the proceeds on these expenses within eight weeks of receipt and use at least 75 percent of the forgiven amount for payroll.

According to charges filed as well as other information presented in court, Fayne is the sole owner of a Georgia corporation called Flame Trucking.  On April 15, 2020, Fayne signed and submitteda PPP loan application to United Community Bank (UCB) in the name of Flame Trucking. He stated that the business had 107 employees and an average monthly payroll of $1,490,200.

The defendant sought a loan in the amount of $3,725,500 certifying 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.”

Upon United Community Bank funding the loan for $2,045,800,  Fayne allegedly used more than $1.5 million of the PPP loan proceeds to purchase:

  • A Rolex Presidential watch
  • A diamond tennis bracelet
  • A 5.73 carat diamond ring for himself
  • $40,000 worth of child support

On May 6, 2020, the defendant was interviewed by federal agents and admitted that he submitted a PPP loan application on behalf of Flame Trucking.  Fayne claimed that he used all of the PPP loan proceeds to pay payroll and other business expenses incurred by Flame Trucking. He denied using any of the PPP loan proceeds to pay his personal debts and expenses.

On May 11, 2020, agents executed a search at Fayne’s residence in Dacula, Georgia and seized:

  • Approximately $80,000 in cash
  • $9,400 that Fayne had in his pockets
  • Jewelry purchased with the PPP funds
  • A 2019 Rolls-Royce Wraith that still had a temporary dealer tag on it

Agents also executed seizure warrants for three bank accounts that Fayne owned and seized approximately $503,000 in PPP funds.

The FBI and SBA OIG are investigating the case.