Rapper Mo Fayne is heading away to prison for a long time. “The Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” star has been sentenced to 17.5 years in prison for improperly using funds he received from a PPP loan to purchase some lavish items, according to TMZ.
Fayne submitted a $3.7 million PPP loan application to help fund his trucking business which reportedly “had 107 employees and an average monthly payroll of $1,490,200,” TMZ notes.
The feds say that Fayne used the big loan to purchase some expensive items to fund his flashy lifestyle including a Rolls Royce, which he purchased for around $136k and $85k for jewelry. The rapper also applied $40k towards past-due child support and another $907k to start a new business in Arkansas. The PPP Loan was offered during the pandemic to help struggling businesses in need. While Fayne promised to use the funds to help support his trucking business, this clearly wasn’t the case.
According to legal docs, Fayne was slammed with a lengthy prison sentence after pleading guilty to 6 counts including bank and wire fraud, the report adds.
The 38-year-old artist, who lives in Dacula, Georgia, was arrested back in May of 2020, for not only lying on his PPP loan application, but Fayne also reportedly spent $230,000 worth of the funds to pay people helping him run a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme, according to Yahoo News. Fayne led the fraudulent scheme from March 2013 to May 2020. He scammed money from people who intended to invest in his business and used the cash to “pay his personal debts and expenses and to fund an extravagant lifestyle for himself,” the Justice Department wrote on its website.
“Fayne planned to use the PPP program as a cover for his long-running Ponzi scheme,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine in the statement. “The funds the program supplies serve as a lifeline to many businesses desperately trying to stay afloat during the pandemic, and unfortunately his fraud helped deplete those precious dollars.”
FBI Special Agent Chris Hacker also echoed a similar sentiment, telling the public:
“This sentence should serve notice that the FBI and our federal partners will investigate anyone who misdirects federal emergency assistance earmarked for businesses who need it to stay afloat. We won’t tolerate anyone driven by personal greed to pocket American taxpayer money that should be going to those who need it.”
Fayne was initially facing a 30-year-prison sentence for his unlawful behavior, but after pleading guilty, the courts drastically reduced his sentencing. When he returns from prison, the reality star will be under five years of supervised release and is ordered to pay back a restitution bill of $4,465,865.55 to his victims across multiple states.