Maurice Fayne, a 38-year-old former star of the show "Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta" has been sentenced to more than 17 years because of his direct involvement in multiple serious crimes.
Fayne was found guilty by the U.S. Department of Justice of engaging in a Ponzi scheme and misusing the government's Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan application.
According to Kurt Erskine, acting U.S. attorney for the Northern District of Georgia, Fayne ran a multistate Ponzi scheme that victimized more than 20 people who invested in his trucking business.
The victims claim Fayne promised that he would use their money to operate and grow his trucking business, but they later found he used the money to bankroll his extravagant lifestyle and pay his debts.
"During the scheme, Fayne spent more than $5 million at a casino in Oklahoma," one report said.
Erksine said that in April last year, Fayne submitted a $3.7 million PPP loan application. In this application, he claimed that his trucking business had more than 100 workers with an average monthly payroll of $1,490,200.
But authorities later discovered Fayne had used the loan for other purposes, far from what he declared in his loan application.
They found he spent $40,000 on past-due child support, $50,000 on restitution for a previous fraud case, $136,000 to lease a Rolls-Royce, and $907,000 to start a business in Arkansas. In addition, authorities have also dug up numerous expenses made by Fayne.
Upon investigation, it became clear that Fayne intended to use the PPP Program to cover his Ponzi scheme.
The PPP program was intended to help businesses have a much-needed lifeline to operate in the midst of a crisis, especially during the global pandemic. And Fayne's fraudulent claims have wasted a lot of money that should have helped businesses who really needed it.
Apart from the 17-year jail time that he will be getting from his crimes, Fayne would also have five years of supervised release. The court said that Fayne is also required to pay $4.5 million in restitution.