‘Love and Hip Hop’ star indicted on fraud charges, accused of running Ponzi scheme

Maurice Fayne

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

Credit: Channel 2 Action News

A “Love & Hip Hop: Atlanta” star accused of spending his government business loan on personal expenses now faces additional charges after federal investigators said he ran a Ponzi scheme for years.

Maurice Fayne, who goes by the name Arkansas Mo on the hit VH1 show, came under investigation earlier this year after borrowing more than $2 million from the Paycheck Protection Program designed to keep struggling businesses afloat amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Authorities said he borrowed the money for his transportation business, Flame Trucking, after telling the bank he had 107 employees and a monthly payroll of nearly $1.5 million.

He was charged with fraud last month after authorities learned he spent the emergency loan on custom jewelry, a down payment on a Rolls Royce and $40,000 in past-due child support, AJC.com previously reported.

RELATED: Feds: 'Love & Hip Hop' star spent emergency business loan on jewelry, Rolls Royce

On Wednesday, however, authorities said Fayne also ran a Ponzi scheme and used his trucking business to cheat investors out of millions of dollars over nearly six years.

“Fayne posed as the owner of a profitable trucking business,” prosecutors said in a news release. “In truth, Fayne’s trucking business never generated enough revenue to cover its expenses.”

Authorities said he convinced about 20 people to invest more than $5 million into his business since 2014, promising to use the funds to purchase and operate trucks.

“Instead, Fayne used the investors’ money to pay his personal debts and expenses, and to fund an extravagant lifestyle for himself,” prosecutors said. “During the wire fraud scheme, Fayne transferred more than $5 million to a casino to cover his personal gambling and entertainment expenses.”

Fayne was indicted Wednesday on charges of bank fraud, wire fraud, making a false statement to a federally insured financial institution and money laundering, prosecutors said in a news release.

So far, federal investigators have seized more than $600,000 from Fayne’s six bank accounts, nearly $80,000 in cash from his Dacula home, his leased Rolls Royce, eight Kenworth semi trucks, six refrigerated trailers and three pieces of jewelry worth more than $80,000.

Fayne is out on bond as he awaits trial, according to a spokesman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

In other news: 

The Georgia Senate, and then the House, approved a new hate crime law Tuesday but only after some last-minute changes threatened to derail the process.

In Other News