Pretty member Ricky founding Baby Blue Whoaaa has been convicted of being involved in a COVID-19 loan scam.
On Thursday, December 16, the former “Love and Hip Hop: Miami” star, whose real name is Diamond “Baby Blue” SmithHe was sentenced to 20 months in prison for conspiracy to commit electronic fraud.
The decision comes just over a year after the South Florida rapper was accused of filing for loan applications in which he falsely requested financial assistance. Under false pretenses, the rapper obtained funds explicitly intended for small businesses as part of the US Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Security Act (CARES).
The Department of Justice says the rapper and dozens of other conspirators — most of them born in Florida — fraudulently applied for more than $24 million in public-private partnership loans. The Miami citizen admitted to using false documents and information to obtain a $426,717 PPP loan. Later he got another amount of $708,065 using the same method. The star claimed that the loans were to his company, Throwbackjersey.com LLC and Blue Star Records LLC.
The “Your Body” rapper must now pay $1,111,345.23 in compensation and $1,134,782 for forfeiture plus a $100 appraisal fee. The 36-year-old was ordered to surrender “at the institution designated by the Bureau of Prisons or to the United States Marshal of this District…in the Southern District of Florida or the facility of the nearest Atlanta, Georgia…before 2 p.m. on February 7, 2022, Baller Alert reported.
The outlet noted that Smith has also admitted to using the money to fund his lavish lifestyle. He reportedly bet the proceeds at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in South Florida. Other luxury items include a Ferrari that was seized upon his arrest.
In addition, he also paid more than $250,000 to two Florida men who last week pleaded guilty to masterminding a nationwide PPP scam. James R. Stott of Hollywood and Philip J. Augustin of Coral Springs assisted Baby Blue in preparing and submitting fraudulent loan applications. The electronic fraud scheme allegedly involved at least 90 fraudulent applications, most of which were submitted.
Fans were shocked by the news, including one Twitter user who wrote, “This n-gga was a star in the heyday of beautiful Ricky and now he’s going to jail for ppp loan scam.”
“This is crazy,” added the Twitter user.
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