Baby Blue, one of the founding members of Pretty Rick, has been sentenced to 20 months in prison on charges including conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The singer, nee Diamond Blue Smith, was also ordered to pay over $2 million in forfeiture and restitution after fraudulently obtaining COVID-19 Paycheck Protection Program loans.
According to reports, Blue falsified documents and fused false information in order to secure PPP loans at an upwards amount of over $20 million. The first loan in question was for $426,717, with the latter being $708,065. Blue attributed the loans to his companies, Throwbackjersey.com LLC and Blue Star Records LLC, in an attempt to avoid compensation.
As a member of one of the chart-topping acts of the aughts, Baby Blue got himself in hot water by gambling money at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in South Florida, as well as purchasing a Ferrari which was seized upon his arrest. In addition to Baby Blue, two others were arrested and pleaded guilty to plotting on how to profit from the PPP scheme. Blue allegedly shelled out more than $250,000 to James R. State and Phillip J. Augustin to facilitate the loan.
In addition to his legal troubles, Baby Blue is going on the offensive, filing suit against a bowling alley where he was shot on April 18. According to reports, Blue claims the company, which invited him to appear, failed to provide adequate security which could have prevented him from being shot.
South Florida Sun-Sentinel reports the legal documents reveal few details about the shooting. Baby Blue claims to have suffered “permanent and personal injury including significant scarring and loss of his ability to walk.”
A few days after the incident, the rapper took to social media to thank his supporters and share details of his injuries.
“Thank you [to] everyone for your thoughts and prayers. I’m still in ICU but I’m on the road to recovery,” he wrote. “The bullet traveled throgh (sic) my lounges (sic) is in stuck in my back. I have to learn to breathe & walk again. I have a great medical team here at the hospital. God Got Me (prayer hands) Love, Blue.”