Florida rapper Baby Blue—a member of the group Pretty Ricky and cast member on Love & Hip Hop: Miami—was apprehended on Monday for pilfering coronavirus relief money in order to buy luxury goods, such as a $96,000 Ferrari.
A press release from the Department of Justice reveals that Baby Blue, born Diamond Blue Smith, and his co-conspirator Tonye C. Johnson were both arrested for taking part in a $24 million COVID-19 relief fraud scam. Smith and Johnson are now facing charges of wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud. Authorities seized the Ferrari at the time of Smith’s arrest.
The government claims that Smith acquired the money for the Ferrari by falsifying documents for a Paycheck Protection Program loan, and ultimately received just under $427,000. He also allegedly did the same thing for another loan that was worth almost $1 million.
After being investigated by the FBI, it was discovered that Smith participated in a bigger scam where he persuaded others to file for funds in order to receive kickbacks. Besides Smith and Johnson, another 11 defendants are involved in the case.
The government gave out PPP loans to qualifying small businesses during the onset of the pandemic, which was part of the $2 trillion CARES Act. Congress later discovered that over $1 billion dollars of the funds had been fraudulently obtained.
Smith found himself in hot water in August when a woman who was reportedly pregnant with his child accused the rapper of physically assaulting, alleging that he punched her in the stomach while pregnant.