A member of the group Pretty Ricky has been charged and arrested for using COVID-19 relief money to fund his luxury lifestyle.
Baby Blue and his co-conspirator have been charged in a $24 million COVID-19 relief fraud scam.
According to Complex magazine, the pair was charged with bank and wire fraud and conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud.
The outlet further stated that the recording artist, the real name Blue Diamond Smith, who appeared on Love & Hip-hop Miami, reportedly faked documents for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan guaranteed by the Small Business Administration (SBA).
The 36-year-old rapper from Florida used fake documents and received about $427,000 for his company Throwbackjersey.com LLC.
Upon receiving the loan, he got another PPP loan to $708,000 for his other company, Blue Star Records LLC, which also used fake documents.
However, Smith used the money to buy himself a $96,000 worth of Ferrari and used the remaining money for his lavish lifestyle.
He also, reportedly, withdrawn about $271,000 in loan proceeds but was arrested early this week.
The complaint alleged that Smith applied for a PPP loan on behalf of others and got a commission once approved.
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Meanwhile, his co-conspirator Tonye C. Johnson reportedly obtained a PPP loan for his company Synergy Towing & Transport, by using fake documents.
He was able to receive $389,000 for his company. Like Smith, he also paid a portion of the loan to other co-conspirators.
Smith assisted over ten small-business owners to get PPP loans, and they were all arrested after receiving about $17 million in loans.
These businesses are said to be in different states, such as Ohio and Pennsylvania.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act is a federal law in the US enacted on Mar. 29, 2020.
It was created to aid businesses that are suffering from the economic effects caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
It will serve as emergency financial assistance to millions of Americans. The government will loan small businesses some money for employee retention and other expenses.
The CARES budget was, reportedly, $2 trillion, but the US Congress later found that more than $1 billion was fraudulently obtained.
Celebrities who received PPP loans
Several celebrities were able to receive PPP loans, despite their massive net worth.
For instance, Kanye West, who has a net worth of $1.3 billion, received a loan between $2 million and $5 million.
Khloe Kardashian’s clothing brand Good American also received between $1 million and $2 million, despite having a $40 million net worth.
Reese Witherspoon and Pearl Jam also received loans from the US government.
Image courtesy of Phillip Bout/Unsplash