The prospect of money being made available for people in desperate need of financial relief because of COVID-19 was bound to bring out the scammers. According to the Feds, Diamond “Baby Blue” Smith, who you might know as a member of late 1990’s/2000’s R&B/Hip-Hop group Pretty Ricky, was approved for over $1 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) funds, and used the money to buy a Ferrari.
According to the Feds—as in the Justice Department—Smith, who is the brother of Pleasure P, has been hit with a gang of charges including wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud.
Allegedly, Diamond Blue Smith, 36, of Miramar, FL, and Tonye C. Johnson, 28, of Flourtown, PA, were involved in a scheme that aimed to seek $24 million via fraudulent loan applications.
Smith was arrested on Monday (Oct. 5) and appeared before Judge Regina D. Cannon of the Northern District of Georgia. His co-defendant was arrested last week and appeared before a judge in Pennsylvania.
According to the Feds, thanks to false documents Baby Blue obtained a fraudulent loan of $426,717 for his company Throwbackjersey.com LLC. When that money ran out, he allegedly got another loan for $708,065 for another one of his companies called Blue Star Records LLC—also with suspect docs. With over a million dollars in loan money, Smith then allegedly copped a Ferrari for $96,000 along with other luxury items. He also reportedly took out over $271,000 in cash.
The New York Post reports that Baby Blue also dropped $2,290 at Versace and another $27,176 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, per prosecutors.
As for the Ferrari, it was seized when he was arrested.
The Justice Department’s release details a scam that includes 11 more defendants, who all sought loans under fraudulent pretenses, with Smith and Johnson raking in more money via kickbacks.
Lawyer up, because life is coming at you fast Baby Blue. And considering so many Black businesses were unable to get loans and have shuttered in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, this crime is particularly shameful.