Maurice Fayne, who is referred to as "Arkansas Mo" on the VH1 reality TV show, has allegedly used funds he received from the Paycheck Protection Program to support his lavish lifestyle.
It was reported that the reality star purchased luxury items such as jewelry and cars with the money and also made a $40,000 child support payment. Federal prosecutors have charged him with bank fraud.
Department of Justice authorities said Fayne received the loan for his transportation business, Flame Trucking. According to the article, he requested over $3.7 million on behalf of his company, which was to cover 107 employees and a monthly payroll of almost $1.5 million. He then certified that he would allocate the money to retaining his employees, maintaining payroll, and making payments to sustain the company, the DOJ added. He received a little over $2 million in funding.
Days after receiving the loan, Fayne allegedly spent over half of the funds. According to prosecutors, the purchases included $85,000 worth of jewelry, a Rolex watch, a diamond bracelet, and a 5.73-carat diamond ring -- which he bought for himself.
The Paycheck Protection Program was implemented as a relief measure for small businesses to be able to keep workers on payroll amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The defendant allegedly took advantage of the emergency lending provisions of the Paycheck Protection Program that were intended to assist employees and small businesses battered by the coronavirus," U.S. Attorney BJay Pak said in a statement. "We will investigate and charge anyone who inappropriately diverts these critical funds for their own personal gain."
Earlier this week, authorities searched Fayne's home in Dacula, Georgia. The AJC wrote that approximately $80,000 in cash was seized in the search. Warrants were also executed for Fayne's bank accounts, through which over $500,000 was seized.
The Atlanta publication stated that Fayne interviewed with federal agents May 6, in which he reportedly admitted to submitting for a small business loan with the Paycheck Protection Program, but only put the funds into his trucking company and denied using the money on himself.
Fayne appeared in several episodes of Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta alongside Karlie Redd. On Season 9 -- currently running, but on an indefinite production hold due to COVID-19 -- Redd made mention of their estranged relationship. Another popular cast member, Alexis Skyy, accused Fayne this season of stealing money from her family in a shady business deal.
The Shade Room also posted about the ordeal, referring to Fayne as Redd's ex, and reported he was "behind bars" following his arrest.