Ferrari Over COVID-19 Relief: Feds Charge Florida Rapper of Pocketing Relief Money
Apart from not wearing masks in the middle of the COVID-19 pandemic, what can be more insensitive? Flaunting wealth, buying unnecessary things, and of course, pocketing money supposed to be for those affected by the pandemic.
A Florida rapper is accused of doing all three.
According to New York Post, Diamond Blue Smith, a member of the group Pretty Ricky, is being accused of pocketing over $1 million in COVID-19 relief funds. As Federal prosecutors said, he allegedly used the funds to buy a Ferrari and many more other luxury items.
A press release by the Department of Justice revealed that Baby Blue, born Diamond Blue Smith, and his co-conspirator Tonye C. Johnson were placed under arrested for their invovlement in a $24 million COVID-19 relief fraud scam.
The money he pocketed, supposed to be for pandemic victims, was also accumulated through illegal means. Moreover, Smith has been charged for playing a key role in a $17 million coronavirus relief scheme, as put forward by the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida.
The rapper, who also appeared on the show, "Love & Hip Hop: Miami," was able to source almost half a million dollars ($427,000) through his company, Throwbackjersey.com through illegal means. He allegedly falsified documents sent to the Paycheck Protection Program to get some loans.
This is a grave mistake, as the PPP program is designed to help those struggling during this unending pandemic -- to keep small businesses, and naturally their employees, afloat.
Not only that, but he is also alleged to have secured one more PPP loan amounting to $708,000 using falsified documents of another company, Blue Star Records.
The accumulated loans were used to buy himself a Ferrari worth $96,000 and then $2290 in goods for Versace. Apart from that, he allegedly used the money on Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino. He was able to spend over $27,176.
The FBI also said Smith is trying to secure PPP loans in the same manner for other companies to get some commission or kickback.
This is why Smith is not only the person charged. Over a dozen are also facing the same charges for allegedly securing at least $17.4 million in relief funds that they do not intend to use for the relief of struggling pandemic victims.
The Ferrari was already seized from the rapper when he was arrested Monday on charges of wire fraud and bank fraud, as well as conspiracy to carry out more wire and bank fraud.
This is not the first time that Smith was involved with legal authorities. He found himself in hot water when a woman who was reportedly pregnant with his child accused him of physical assault. According to the complainant, the rapper punched her in the stomach while pregnant.
It remains to be seen what will happen next to the Florida rapper, but it is certainly not a good look for him and his group.