Founding Pretty Ricky member Baby Blue Whoaaa has been sentenced for his involvement in a COVID-19 loan scam.
On Thursday, Dec. 16, the former “Love and Hip Hop: Miami” star, whose real name is Diamond “Baby Blue” Smith, was sentenced to 20 months in prison for one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
The decision comes a little over a year since the South Florida rapper was accused of filing loan applications falsely requesting financial assistance. Under false pretenses, the rapper was given funds allotted explicitly for small businesses as part of America’s Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) provided through the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act.
The Department of Justice says the rapper and a dozen other co-conspirators — most of them Floridians — fraudulently applied for more than $24 million in PPP loans. The Miami native admitted to using falsified documents and information to obtain a PPP loan of $426,717. He later secured another for $708,065 using the same method. The star claimed the loans were for his companies, Throwbackjersey.com LLC and Blue Star Records LLC.
The “Your Body” rapper must now pay $1,111,345.23 in restitution and $1,134,782 in forfeiture in addition to a $100 assessment fee. The 36-year-old has been ordered to surrender “at the institution designated by the Bureau of Prisons or to the United States Marshal for this district… in the Southern District of Florida or a facility nearest Atlanta, Georgia… before 2 p.m. on Feb. 7, 2022,” Baller Alert reported.
The outlet noted that Smith also confessed to using the money to fund his lavish lifestyle. He reportedly gambled away the proceeds at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in South Florida. Other luxury items include a Ferrari, which was seized at his arrest.
In addition, he also paid more than $250,000 to two Florida men who pleaded guilty last week to orchestrating a nationwide PPP scam. James R. Stote of Hollywood, and Phillip J. Augustin of Coral Springs, assisted Baby Blue with preparing and submitting the fake loan applications. The wire fraud scheme allegedly involved at least 90 fraudulent applications, most of which were submitted.
Fans were shocked by the news, including one Twitter user who wrote, “That n-gga was a superstar at the peak of pretty Ricky and now he’s going to jail for a ppp loan scam.”
“That’s crazy,” the Twitter user added.
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