A South Florida rapper and reality star has been charged for his role in a $24 million COVID relief fraud scheme.
Diamond Blue Smith, 36, a cast member on “Love & Hip Hop: Miami” and a member of the hip-hop group Pretty Ricky, was arrested Monday along with 28-year-old Tonye C. Johnson of Pennsylvania in the fraud case.
The pair were charged in federal criminal complaints filed in the Southern District of Florida with wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud.
The rapper, also known as “Baby Blue” is alleged to have obtained a PPP loan of $426,717 for his company, Throwbackjersey.com LLC, using falsified documents. Upon completion of that loan, he obtained another PPP loan of $708,065 for his other company, Blue Star Records LLC, using falsified documents.
Smith allegedly purchased a Ferrari for $96,000, made other luxury purchases, and withdrawn $271,805 in loan proceeds.
The complaint further alleges that Smith sought PPP loans on behalf of others in order to receive kickbacks for those confederates.
Johnson is alleged to have obtained a PPP loan of $389,627 for his own company, Synergy Towing & Transport LLC, using falsified documents. He is also said to have paid a portion of the loan proceeds to co-conspirators in the scheme.
The complaints allege that the scheme involved the preparation of at least 90 fraudulent applications and the two men conspired with others to obtain millions of dollars in fraudulent PPP loans while taking kickbacks.