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Tuesday, October 20, 2020

Pretty Ricky rapper Baby Blue accused of scamming $24M in PPP loans

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A member of the hip-hop group Pretty Ricky was arrested and charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Diamond Blue Smith, also known as “Baby Blue”, was hit with federal charges after investigators say he attempted to obtain $24 million in PPP funds to buy lavish items, including a Ferrari.

Smith, 36, is accused of fraudulently obtaining a coronavirus relief loan and then using the money to purchase a $96,000 Ferrari among other luxury items.

Smith, of Miramar, Florida, along with Tonye C. Johnson, of Pennsylvania, appeared before a U.S. Magistrate Judge in Georgia on Monday.

According to the federal complaint, Smith and Johnson falsified loan documents to obtain a $426,717 loan under the Federal Paycheck Protection Program for his company Throwbackjersey.com LLC.

The Paycheck Protection Program is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, signed into law by President Trump to help small businesses suffering from the economic effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Smith also applied for another loan in the amount of $708,065 for another company, Blue Star Records LLC. And he allegedly applied for loans in the names of other individuals, using falsified documents.

The Ferrari and other luxury items, as well as his bank accounts were seized by the feds.

NEW YORK – JULY 25: (L-R) Pretty Ricky members Slick ‘Em, Spectacular, Baby Blue, and Pleasure pose for photos at Pretty Ricky’s Artist Portrait Session at JR Studio July 25, 2006 in New York City. (Photo by Ray Tamarra/Getty Images)

Ray Tamarra/Getty Images

Smith, 2nd from right, is best known as a member of R&B/hip hop group Pretty Ricky. The other members are (L-R) Slick ‘EmSpectacular and Pleasure.

The group enjoyed modest success in the mid-2000s with their platinum singles “Grind With Me” and “On The Hotline”.

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