- The Washington Times - Wednesday, May 13, 2020

A reality TV star was charged Wednesday with bank fraud for allegedly using more than $1 million from the Paycheck Protection Program to buy diamond jewelry, a Rolex watch, and fund child support.

The payments are not permitted under the federal CARES Act, which is aimed at assisting small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.

Maurice Fayne, who stars in “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta,” appeared before U.S. Magistrate Judge Justin S. Anand Wednesday, the Justice Department announced.

“The defendant allegedly stole money meant to assist hard-hit employees and businesses during these difficult times, and instead greedily used the money to bankroll his lavish purchases of jewelry and other personal items,” said Brian A. Benczkowski, the assistant attorney general of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division.

“The department will remain steadfast in our efforts to root out and prosecute frauds against the Paycheck Protection Program,” he added.

Congress passed the Paycheck Protection Program as part of the CARES Act in March to assist small businesses to continue to pay employees and maintain operations during the stay at home orders due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Justice Department claims Mr. Fayne applied for a small business loan through the PPP program for his business “Flame Trucking,” saying he had more than 100 employees with a payroll of nearly $1.5 million a month.

He was ultimately approved for $2,045,800.

“Within days, Fayne allegedly used more than $1.5 million of the PPP loan proceeds to purchase $85,000 in jewelry, including a Rolex Presidential watch, a diamond bracelet, a 5.73 carat diamond ring for himself, and to pay $40,000 for child support,” the DOJ press release read.

A search of his home also revealed tens of thousands of dollars. Additionally, agents discovered a 2019 Rolls-Royce Wraith that still had temporary tags from the dealer.

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