Nuke Bizzle’s rap profession could also be about to fizzle after the hip-hop artist who bragged on a observe about getting wealthy by committing unemployment fraud was arrested Friday on federal costs that he ripped off greater than $1.2 million in pandemic unemployment help.
The rapper boasts in a YouTube music video a couple of scheme to steal unemployment advantages and shows what seems to be dozens of advantages letters and financial institution playing cards that he raps paid for his swag.
However that fictional story was true to life, prosecutors for the U.S. legal professional’s workplace in Los Angeles allege. Bizzle, whose actual identify is Fontrell Antonio Baines, 31, is accused of utilizing a collection of stolen identities to fund his way of life within the Hollywood Hills, court docket paperwork stated.
A consultant for Baines couldn’t be reached for remark.
Baines allegedly exploited the Pandemic Unemployment Help provision of the CARES Act, which is designed to develop entry to unemployment advantages to self-employed employees, impartial contractors, and others who wouldn’t in any other case be eligible, based on the affidavit filed with the prison costs.
Baines is charged with three felonies — entry gadget fraud, aggravated id theft, and interstate transportation of stolen property. If convicted on all costs, he may face a statutory most sentence of twenty-two years in federal jail.
Within the music video “EDD”, a reference to California Employment Growth Division, he raps about doing “my swagger for EDD” and holds up a stack of envelopes presumably from the company, intoning he’s getting wealthy by “go[ing] to the financial institution with a stack of those.”
Investigators allege that could be a reference to the debit playing cards which are mailed recipients of unemployment insurance coverage. A second rapper within the video intones, “You gotta promote cocaine, I simply file a declare.”
Baines, initially from Memphis, was taken into custody by Las Vegas police final month when he was a passenger in a dashing Cadillac Escalade. In keeping with the affidavit, he consented to a search.
He was arrested by Las Vegas Metro police in reference to possession of eight EDD debit playing cards in seven completely different names with out the homeowners’ consent, the affidavit stated.
The Vegas police additionally discovered $49,734 below the third row of seats the place Baines was seated, the affidavit stated. Baines pleaded not responsible to costs associated to the arrest and was launched on bond.
In Friday’s announcement of federal costs, prosecutors stated not less than 92 debit playing cards have been “pre-loaded with $1.2 million in fraudulently obtained advantages” mailed to addresses related to the rapper.
On the video for “EDD,” Baines included a disclaimer: “This video was created with props and was made for leisure functions”
The debit playing cards have been issued within the names of third events, together with id theft victims, the affidavit states. Prosecutors allege the purposes for these debit playing cards listed addresses to which Baines had entry in Beverly Hills and Koreatown.
Prosecutors allege that Baines and a number of other associates accessed greater than $704,000 of those advantages by way of money withdrawals. A number of the cash was retrieved in Las Vegas.
The rapper is due in a downtown Los Angeles federal courtroom for arraignment Friday.
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