Rapper and star of VH1’s Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, Maurice “Mo” Fayne is now about to step into a new reality after being sentenced to federal prison for fraud involving government funds.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office announced on Wednesday (September 15th) that Fayne was sentenced to 17.5 years in federal prison for bank fraud by U.S. District Judge Mark H. Cohen in Atlanta, Georgia, and for operating a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme by stealing $2 million with a fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program loan application. The reality TV star pled guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud charges in May. Fayne was also ordered by the court to pay $4,465,865.55 in restitution to his victims.
“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 release. “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.”
Fayne, who raps under the name “Arkansas Mo,” used $230,000 from the illegally obtained PPE money to fortify the Ponzi scheme he ran which took advantage of 20 investors from March 2013 to May 2020. He had claimed the money was going towards paying 107 employees at his “Flame Trucking” business. The rest of the money went to clear his debts including $50,000 he was to pay in a previous fraud case and to purchase $85,000 in jewelry for himself including a Rolex Presidential watch. In a search at Fayne’s Atlanta residence on May 11th, 2020, agents found $80,000 in cash including $9,400 on his person. They also seized $503,000 in PPP funds from three of his bank accounts.
“We won’t tolerate anyone driven by personal greed to pocket American taxpayer money that should be going to those who need it.”, said Chris Hacker, Special Agent In Charge of FBI Atlanta in the announcement.