Baby Blue is back home after serving a year behind bars for a PPP loan scam.
The Pretty Ricky rapper was released from FCI Coleman Low in Florida on Tuesday, exactly 12 months after he turned himself in to authorities for his involvement in a $24 million coronavirus relief fraud scheme.
He was sentenced to 20 months in prison, but only served one year. According to The Shade Room, his early release was granted under the First Step Act, which was introduced by Donald Trump in 2018. The act allows eligible inmates to participate in recidivism reduction programs and earn credits toward early release.
“I met a lot of REAL ni**as in the feds. A lot of good street ni**as doing time in this fu**ed up system just for hustling and getting money to support they families,” Baby Blue said in a statement. “I appreciate all the love and support for my family, friends, and fans!”
Upon his release, he announced that he has changed his name to Bigg Money Blue. “Officially changing my name to BIGG MONEY BLUE!”
He also revealed that he has written a book and plans to drop a new album. “I’m bout to get back to the MONEY! LETS GO!!!” he added.
The “Love & Hip Hop: Miami” star, whose real name is Diamond Blue Smith, was arrested in October 2020 and charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud.
He used falsified documents to obtain a $426,717 loan under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) for his company, Throwbackjersey.com LLC. Smith also sought another loan of $708,065 for his other company, Blue Star Records LLC, again using falsified documents.
He used the PPP funds to buy luxury goods including a $96,000 Ferrari, which was seized by authorities at the time of his arrest. He is also alleged to have withdrawn $271,805 in loan proceeds.
The “Grind With Me” hitmaker is among a dozen other defendants who participated in the COVID-relief fraud scheme to file fraudulent loan applications seeking more than $24 million in forgivable PPP loans.