Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta's Maurice Fayne has been sentenced to 17 years in federal prison for conspiracy and wire fraud after being convicted of misusing millions of dollars in Paycheck Protection Program loans during the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Attorney's Office announced Wednesday.
Fayne was convicted of leading a multistate scheme defrauding more than 20 people between March 2012 and May 2020, promising to use the money he was given to support business expenses, but instead using millions to "pay his personal debts and expenses and to fund an extravagant lifestyle for himself," according to prosecutors. According to the Department of Justice, Fayne submitted a $3.7 million PPP loan application, falsely claiming his trucking business employed 107 people with an average monthly payroll of $1.5 million.
Instead of using the loan money to maintain the fake payroll, prosecutors say Fayne instead used it to fund his lifestyle, including $40,000 for past-due child support, $85,000 for jewelry, $136,000 for a Rolls-Royce and $907,000 to start a new business in Arkansas. Fayne was officially charged in May 2020 with fraud, and additional charges were later added.
The VH1 personality, who appeared on Season 8 of Love & Hip-Hop Atlanta, was convicted on May 11, 2021, after pleading guilty, having reportedly struck a deal with prosecutors, who agreed to drop 14 charges and recommend a 151-month sentence to the judge as opposed to the 30-year possible sentence he was initially facing. Fayne was ordered to pay more than $4 million in restitution and will be on 5 years of supervised release after being let out of prison.
"This sentence should serve notice that the FBI and our federal partners will investigate anyone who misdirects federal emergency assistance earmarked for businesses who need it to stay afloat," said Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta in a statement. "We won't tolerate anyone driven by personal greed to pocket American taxpayer money that should be going to those who need it."