Florida rapper Diamond Blue Smith, a.k.a. Baby Blue, who is a member of the group Pretty Ricky and a cast member on Love & Hip Hop: Miami, has been smacked with charges of pocketing more than $1 million meant for coronavirus relief — and using the bucks to buy luxury goods, including a $96k Ferrari.
Smith was arrested on Monday, October 5, on charges of wire fraud, bank fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud. He allegedly obtained the funds to buy the car — as well as scoop up some goodies from Versace and fund an expensive casino visit — by falsifying documents for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.
PPP loans are part of the federal CARES Act, which went into place in March. They are intended to help struggling businesses stay afloat with emergency funding during pandemic economic insecurity. The loans are designed to be entirely forgiven, provided the business can show it used the funds on payroll and other company-related expenses.
Smith submitted his loan requests via two of his LLC companies in order to get rolling on his big spending spree. The Ferrari (exact make and model not disclosed) was seized at the time of his arrest.
It gets worse, however: Further investigation uncovered that the rapper is actually part of a bigger scam as well, having allegedly conspired with a larger group acquiring PPP loans for others in order to receive kickbacks. All together, these fraudulent loans are worth more than $24 million, with at least $17.4 million of that amount approved and paid out. At least a dozen names are included in the complaint.
All the gnarly details can be found in a press release from the United States Department of Justice, which outlines the massive dollar figures involved.
Smith has been having his share of troubles lately, having been accused in August of assaulting a woman who claims she is pregnant with his child. The disturbing details include accusations that he choked the woman, as well as punched her in the stomach when she was five months along.