Pretty Ricky member Baby Blue is set to turn himself in to the authorities and serve a federal prison sentence after pleading guilty to federal fraud charges. Baby Blue, née Diamond Blue Smith, was sentenced to 20 months in prison after being arrested and charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, and conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud in connection to an alleged Payment Protection Program (PPP) scam. He is expected to turn himself in on Tuesday (Feb. 7.)
The scheme, which occurred during 2020 and included 25 people in total, allegedly attempted to defraud the government out of millions of dollars in loans from the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act. According to the U.S. Department of Justice, Blue, and Pennsylvania towing company owner Tonye C. Johnson, who was also charged, had sought out various loans amounting to $24 million.
“This sentencing serves as a deterrent to anyone who would commit fraud targeting COVID-19 relief programs,” stated Acting Assistant Director Jay Greenberg of the FBI’s Criminal Investigative Division. Greenberg continued, adding, “Programs like these were created to help individuals during a pandemic, not for fraudsters to take advantage for personal gain. The FBI will continue to pursue criminal actors who engage in this activity.”
Last December, Baby Blue, who appeared alongside his Pretty Ricky groupmates as part of The Millennium Tour 2021, expressed remorse for his actions while addressing his impending prison sentence. “We all make mistakes… I admit I made a mistake, I’ve learned from it the hard way and won’t make it again. My mistakes don’t define me as a man and I will come out of this more than I was before. With more integrity, more character, more knowledge of myself, more wiser, more stronger!”
He has also provided information on where fans can reach him while he serves his sentence in a more recent post on his social media account, which could be one of his last for quite some time.
“Turning myself in to the Feds on Monday, February 7th. If you wanna write me or send me anything, see info below… Diamond Blue Smith # 11322509 FCI COLEMAN LOW FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION SATELLITE CAMP P.O. BOX 1027 COLEMAN, FL 33521 (White Envelopes Only).”
Turning myself in to the Feds on Monday, February 7th. If you wanna write me or send me anything, see info below…
Diamond Blue Smith # 11322509
FCI COLEMAN LOW
FEDERAL CORRECTIONAL INSTITUTION
P.O. BOX 1027
COLEMAN, FL 33521
(White Envelopes Only)
— Blue Hefner (@BabyBlueWhoaaaa) January 31, 2022