A South Florida rapper and reality star has been charged and accused of pocketing COVID relief money to buy a Ferrari. Diamond Blue Smith, 36, a cast member on “Love & Hip Hop: Miami” and a member of the group Pretty Ricky, was arrested Monday along with 28-year-old Tonye C. Johnson of Pennsylvania for their roles in a $24 million COVID-19 relief fraud scheme.
Smith and Johnson both face charges of wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud. The government alleges Smith — also known as “Baby Blue” — obtained money for a Ferrari by falsifying documents to get a Paycheck Protection Program loan worth nearly $427,000 dollars. He allegedly did the same for another loan worth nearly $1 million.
The FBI’s investigation revealed Smith was allegedly part of a broader scheme convincing others to file for the funds while taking kickbacks. There are at least 11 other defendants. PPP loans were meant for qualifying small businesses to receive money in emergency and forgivable loans due to impacts from the pandemic. It was part of the $2 trillion CARES Act. Congress later found more than $1 billion dollars in relief aid was fraudulently obtained.
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