Wednesday, October 07, 2020

Pretty Ricky Member Arrested for PPP Fraud

Pretty Rick boy band member Diamond 'Baby Blue' Smith arrested on fraud charges for exploiting the COVID19 Payroll Protection Program...

From The Department of Justice 
Smith, a recording artist, is alleged to have obtained a PPP loan of $426,717 for his company, LLC, using falsified documents. Upon completion of that loan, Smith then sought and obtained another PPP loan of $708,065 for his other company, Blue Star Records LLC, using falsified documents. Smith allegedly purchased a Ferrari for $96,000 and made other luxury purchases using PPP loan proceeds. Authorities seized the Ferrari at the time of Smith’s arrest. He is also alleged to have withdrawn $271,805 in loan proceeds. The complaint further alleges that Smith sought PPP loans on behalf of others in order to receive kickbacks for those confederates.
Tonye C. Johnson is alleged to have obtained a PPP loan of $389,627 for his own company, Synergy Towing & Transport LLC, using falsified documents. The complaint alleges that Johnson then paid a portion of the loan proceeds to co-conspirators in the scheme.
The complaints allege that Smith and Johnson conspired with others to obtain millions of dollars in fraudulent PPP loans. Early in their scheme, Smith and Johnson’s co-conspirator, Phillip J. Augustin, allegedly obtained a fraudulent PPP loan for his talent management company using falsified documents. After submitting that application, Augustin then began to work with other co-conspirators on a scheme to submit numerous fraudulent PPP loan applications for confederate loan applicants, in order to receive kickbacks for obtaining the forgivable loans for them. The complaints allege that the scheme involved the preparation of at least 90 fraudulent applications, most of which were submitted. Augustin, Smith, Johnson, and other conspirators in the scheme are alleged to have applied for PPP loans that are together worth more than $24 million.
Smith and Johnson both face charges of wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud.