Atlanta reality TV star sentenced to 17 years for PPP Ponzi scheme

ATLANTA — An Atlanta reality TV star has been sentenced to almost two decades in prison for conspiracy and wire fraud related to a Ponzi scheme.

Maurice Fayne, 38, who starred in Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta, was sentenced to 17 years in federal prison.

Prosecutors say that from 2013 to 2020, Fayne ran a Ponzi scheme in several states that defrauded more than 20 people who invested in his trucking business.

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Investors thought that Fayne was using the money to run the business as he promised, but he was using the money to fund his extravagant lifestyle. At one point, he spent $5 million of investors’ money at an Oklahoma casino.

In April 2020, Fayne submitted a $3.7 million PPP loan application that falsely claimed his business had 107 employees and nearly $1.5 million in monthly payroll.

“Fayne planned to use the PPP program as a cover for his long-running Ponzi scheme,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine. “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.”

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Fayne used the PPP loan funds for:

  • $40,000 for past-due child support
  • $50,000 for restitution owed in a previous fraud case
  • $65,000 in cash withdrawals
  • $85,000 for custom-made jewelry
  • $136,000 to lease a Rolls-Royce
  • $230,000 to associates who helped him run a Ponzi scheme
  • $907,000 to start a new business in Arkansas

Fayne was also ordered to pay $4,465,865.55 in restitution.

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Fayne appeared in season 8 of VH1′s reality series “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta.”

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