Florida rapper bought Ferrari with COVID-19 relief money, feds say
A Florida rapper allegedly pocketed more than $1 million in COVID-19 relief funds, which he used to buy a Ferrari and other luxe items, federal prosecutors said.
Diamond Blue Smith — who is a member of the group Pretty Ricky — was charged this week for his role in a $17 million coronavirus relief scheme, according to the US Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida.
Prosecutors allege that Smith — who also appears on the show “Love & Hip Hop: Miami” — obtained $427,000 through his company, Throwbackjersey.com, by falsifying documents for a Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan.
The PPP program was meant to help struggling small businesses during the coronavirus pandemic.
The recording artist also was able to secure another PPP loan of $708,00 through another company, Blue Star Records, prosecutors said.
He then allegedly used the loan proceeds to buy a $96,000 Ferrari as well as $2,290 in goods from Versace.
On another occasion, he spent more than $27,176 at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino, prosecutors said.
The FBI also accused Smith in a complaint of fraudulently seeking PPP loans on the behalf of others in order to get kickbacks.
At least a dozen other people are charged in the scheme, which secured at least $17.4 million in relief funds, prosecutors said.
Smith’s Ferrari — it was not immediately clear which model — was seized when he was arrested Monday on charges of wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud.