A rapper who boasted in a YouTube music video about getting wealthy from committing unemployment benefits fraud was arrested Friday in Los Angeles on federal costs of finishing up that very scheme by fraudulently applying for more than $1.2 million in jobless benefits, together with by utilizing stolen identities, federal prosecutors introduced.
Fontrell Antonio Baines, 31, who makes use of the stage name “Nuke Bizzle,” was arrested on federal costs alleging he fraudulently obtained unemployment insurance coverage advantages below the Coronavirus Support, Reduction, and Financial Safety Act, based on the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace.
Baines who’s from of Memphis, Tennessee, and at present resides within the Hollywood Hills, is anticipated to make his preliminary look Friday afternoon in Los Angeles federal court docket.
The felony grievance alleges three felony offenses — entry machine fraud, aggravated identification theft, and interstate transportation of stolen property. If convicted of all of costs, Baines would resist 22 years in federal jail, based on the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace.
Prosecutors allege Baines exploited the Pandemic Unemployment Help provision of the CARES Act, which is designed to increase entry to unemployment advantages to self-employed staff, unbiased contractors and others who wouldn’t in any other case be eligible.
In response to an affidavit filed with the felony grievance, Baines possessed and used debit playing cards pre-loaded with unemployment advantages administered by the California Employment Improvement Division. The debit playing cards had been issued within the names of third-parties, together with identification theft victims, based on prosecutors, who allege the functions for the playing cards listed addresses to which Baines had entry in Beverly Hills and Koreatown.
EDD has been overwhelmed with functions. Randy Mac studies April 30, 2020.
Proof gathered in the course of the investigation established that not less than 92 debit playing cards that had been pre-loaded with greater than $1.2 million in fraudulently obtained advantages had been mailed to these addresses, based on the affidavit. Baines and his co-schemers allegedly accessed greater than $704,000 of these advantages via money withdrawals, together with in Las Vegas, in addition to purchases of merchandise and providers.
The affidavit additional alleges that Baines bragged about his potential to defraud the EDD in a music video posted on YouTube and in postings to his Instagram account, below the handles “nukebizzle1” and “nukebizzle23.”
For instance, Baines seems in a music video known as “EDD” during which he boasts about doing “my swagger for EDD” and, holding up a stack of envelopes from EDD, getting wealthy by going “to the financial institution with a stack of those” — presumably a reference to the debit playing cards that come within the mail, based on court docket papers. A second rapper within the video intones, “You gotta promote cocaine, I simply file a declare.”
On Sept. 23, Las Vegas police arrested Baines, who had in his possession eight debit playing cards, seven of which had been within the names of different individuals, the affidavit states.