Baines may face a statutory most sentence of 22 years in federal jail.
A rapper who bragged about defrauding the federal government’s unemployment program in a music video has been arrested on federal expenses of finishing up the precise scheme he talked about in his video, based on the U.S. Division of Justice (DOJ).
Fontrell Antonio Baines, 31, who goes by the stage title “Nuke Bizzle” was arrested after making use of for greater than $1.2 million in jobless advantages and utilizing stolen identities in a scheme to fraudulently get hold of unemployment insurance coverage advantages beneath the Coronavirus Support, Aid, and Financial Safety (CARES) Act.
Baines, initially from Memphis Tennessee however who now resides within the Hollywood Hills in California, was allegedly exploiting the Pandemic Unemployment Help (PUA) provision of the CARES Act which the DOJ says is designed to broaden entry to unemployment advantages to self-employed staff, impartial contractors, and others who wouldn’t in any other case be eligible.
“Baines possessed and used debit cards pre-loaded with unemployment benefits administered by the California Employment Development Department (EDD),” the DOJ stated in a press release asserting Baines’ arrest. “The debit cards were issued in the names of third-parties, including identity theft victims. The applications for these debit cards listed addresses to which Baines had access in Beverly Hills and Koreatown.”
The DOJ says that in their investigation they found a minimum of 92 debit playing cards that had greater than $1.2 million in fraudulently obtained advantages and that he had accessed greater than $704,000 of these advantages via money withdrawal as properly buying merchandise and different companies with them.
To make issues worse, Baines overtly bragged concerning the fraudulent exercise in one in all his music movies.
Stated the DOJ: “Baines bragged about his ability to defraud the EDD in a music video posted on YouTube and in postings to his Instagram account, under the handles “nukebizzle1” and “nukebizzle23.” For instance, Baines seems in a music video referred to as “EDD” through which he boasts about doing “my swagger for EDD” and, holding up a stack of envelopes from EDD, getting wealthy by “go[ing] to the bank with a stack of these” – presumably a reference to the debit playing cards that come within the mail. A second rapper within the video intones, “You gotta sell cocaine, I just file a claim.”
Baines was subsequently arrested in Las Vegas Nevada on Sept. 23 and was discovered with eight debit playing cards, seven of which have been within the names of different individuals, based on the DOJ.
Baines now faces three federal expenses within the case — entry machine fraud, aggravated identification theft, and interstate transportation of stolen property.
If convicted of all of those expenses, Baines would face a statutory most sentence of 22 years in federal jail.