Baby Blue Whoaaa, a founding member of Pretty Ricky, has been convicted of being involved in a COVID-19 loan scam.
Thursday, December 16, the former star of “Love and Hip Hop: Miami”, whose real name is Diamond “Baby Blue” Smith, was sentenced to 20 months in prison on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
The move comes just over a year ago since the South Florida rapper was accused of filing loan applications falsely asking for financial aid. Under false pretenses, the rapper received funds explicitly allocated to small businesses under the U.S. Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provided through the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security) Act.
The Justice Department said the rapper and a dozen other co-conspirators – mostly Floridians – had fraudulently requested more than $ 24 million in PPP loans. The Miami native admitted to using forged documents and information to secure a $ 426,717 PPP loan. He later got another one for $ 708,065 using the same method. The star claimed the loans were going to his companies, Throwbackjersey.com LLC and Blue Star Records LLC.
The “Your Body” rapper must now pay $ 1,111,345.23 in restitution and $ 1,134,782 in forfeiture in addition to the $ 100 assessment fee. The 36-year-old man was ordered to surrender “to the institution designated by the Bureau of Prisons or to the United States Marshal for that district … in the South Florida district or to an establishment closest to Atlanta, Georgia… by 2 pm on Feb. 7, 2022, ”Baller Alert reported.
The outlet noted that Smith also confessed to using the money to finance his lavish lifestyle. He is said to have played the profits at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in South Florida. Other luxury items include a Ferrari, which was seized during his arrest.
In addition, he also paid over $ 250,000 to two Florida men who pleaded guilty last week to orchestrating a nationwide PPP scam. James R. Stote of Hollywood and Phillip J. Augustin of Coral Springs helped Baby Blue prepare and submit bogus loan applications. The wire fraud scheme reportedly involved at least 90 fraudulent claims, most of which were submitted.
Fans were shocked at the news, including a Twitter user who wrote: “This n-gga was a superstar on top of pretty Ricky and now he’s going to jail for a ppp loan scam.”
“It’s crazy,” the Twitter user added.
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