Please E-mail suggested additions, comments and/or corrections to Kent@MoreLaw.Com.
Case Number: 1:20-cr-00228-MHC-JKL
Judge: Mark H. Cohen
Court: United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia (Fulton County)
Plaintiff's Attorney: United States Attorney’s Office
Description: Atlanta, GA: Criminal defense lawyer represented defendant charged with conspiracy and wire fraud related to a Ponzi scheme, and for bank fraud, and making false statements to a financial institution related a fraudulent Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan application.
Maurice Fayne planned to use the PPP program as a cover for his long-running Ponzi scheme. The funds the program supplies serve as a lifeline to many businesses desperately trying to stay afloat during the pandemic, and unfortunately his fraud helped deplete those precious dollars.
“Lying to gain access to SBA’s pandemic response programs is not without consequence,” said SBA OIG’s Eastern Region Special Agent in Charge Amaleka McCall-Brathwaite. “OIG will relentlessly pursue evidence of fraud against SBA’s programs aimed at assisting the nation’s small businesses struggling with the pandemic challenges. I want to thank the U.S. Attorney’s Office for its leadership and dedication to pursuing justice.”
According to Acting U.S. Attorney Erskine, the charges, and other information presented in court: From March 2013 through May 2020, Fayne ran a multistate Ponzi scheme that defrauded more than 20 people who invested in his trucking business. Fayne promised that he would use the investors’ money to operate the business. Instead, he used the money to pay his personal debts and expenses and to fund an extravagant lifestyle for himself. During the scheme, Fayne spent more than $5 million at a casino in Oklahoma.
In April 2020, Fayne submitted a $3.7 million PPP loan application to United Community Bank, falsely claiming that his trucking business had 107 employees and an average monthly payroll of $1,490,200. Fayne promised to use the PPP loan proceeds to retain workers and maintain payroll or make mortgage interest payments, lease payments, and utility payments related to his trucking business. Instead, Fayne used the PPP loan proceeds for improper purposes, including the following:
• $40,000 for past-due child support;
• $50,000 for restitution owed in a previous fraud case;
• $65,000 in cash withdrawals;
• $85,000 for custom-made jewelry;
• $136,000 to lease a Rolls-Royce;
• $230,000 to associates who helped him run a Ponzi scheme;
• $907,000 to start a new business in Arkansas.
Maurice Fayne, a/k/a Arkansas Mo, 38, of Dacula, Georgia, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Mark H. Cohen to 17 years, six months in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $4,465,865.55 to the victims. Fayne was convicted on these charges on May 11, 2021, after he pleaded guilty.
This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Small Business Administration-Office of Inspector General.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Russell Phillips and Bernita Malloy prosecuted the case.
Outcome: 09/16/2021 232 MOTION to Withdraw as Attorney and motion to appoint new counsel for appeal by Maurice Fayne. (Durrett, Saraliene) (Entered: 09/16/2021)
09/16/2021 233 ORDER granting 232 Motion to Withdraw as Attorney. Saraliene Durrett withdrawn from case as to Maurice Fayne (1). Signed by Magistrate Judge John K. Larkins, III on 9/16/2021. (tmf) (Entered: 09/16/2021)
09/16/2021 234 ORDER OF CJA 20-Appointment to Pay Court Appointed Counsel: Appointment of Attorney Leigh Ann Webster for Maurice Fayne. Signed by Magistrate Judge John K. Larkins, III on 9/16/2021. (tmf) (Entered: 09/16/2021)
09/16/2021 235 NOTICE OF APPEAL as to Maurice Fayne re 231 Amended Judgment and Commitment,,,,,,,. Transcript Order Form due on 9/30/2021 (Webster, Leigh) (Entered: 09/16/2021)
09/16/2021 Request For Presentence Investigation Report as to Maurice Fayne re: 235 Notice of Appeal filed on 9/16/21. (pjm) (Entered: 09/16/2021)
09/16/2021 236 USCA Appeal Transmission Letter as to Maurice Fayne to 11th Circuit re: 235 Notice of Appeal filed by Maurice Fayne. (pjm) (Entered: 09/16/2021)
09/16/2021 237 Transmission of Certified Copy of Notice of Appeal, J&C, Order and Docket Sheet as to Maurice Fayne to US Court of Appeals re: 235 Notice of Appeal. (pjm) (Entered: 09/16/2021)
09/16/2021 238 PRESENTENCE INVESTIGATION REPORT (Sealed) as to Maurice Fayne. (ddm) (Entered: 09/16/2021)
Defendant was sentenced to more than 17 years' in prison.