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Pretty Ricky Member Caught In Paycheck Protection Program Scam

Baby Blue of the popular R&B group Pretty Ricky is pretty big trouble. The US Department Of Justice named Diamond Blue Smith, 36, and another man named Tonye C. Johnson, 28, as part of federal criminal complaints filed in the Southern District of Florida on numerous fraud charges. Among those charges: Wire fraud, bank fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud. Baby Blue is one of several scammers that have tried to take advantage of Paycheck Protection Program loans during the pandemic. Blue sought $24 Million in fraudulent loans, however the IRS, FBI and SBA, were able to uncover the entire scam.

The DOJ says that the singer used false documents to receive a PPP loan for his company LLC, in the amount of $426,717. He successfully received a loan for another company using doctored documents, and was able to receive $708,065.

Baby Blue had all intentions to flex to his millions of followers with his illegal money. Blue allegedly bought a $96,000 Ferrari, and other luxury items which were all seized upon his arrest. Tonye C. Johnson had a similar plan as his famous friend. He obtained a PPP loan of $389,627 for his own company. Johnson is said to have paid a portion of his loan to co-conspirators involved in the scheme.

Tonye and Baby Blue were running quite an operation. They are said to have sought cohorts to apply for loans, allowing them to receive kickbacks or illegal payments used as compensation for a transaction or service. There are said to be eleven other people involved in this scam.

These are just some of the more high profile scammers who have been taking advantage of a system that was intended to cover for struggling small businesses during the pandemic. Greedy people have allowed their thirst for maintaining an Instagram worthy lifestyle to find ways to game this system. With more cases coming out, we hope that the government does more to ensure scammers won’t be able to get any further - while simultaneously accommodating honest business owners looking to keep their businesses afloat.

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