FEDS ARREST RAPPER FOR UNEMPLOYMENT SCAM
A rapper who bragged in a YouTube music video about getting rich from an unemployment scam was arrested Friday on federal charges of fraudulently applying for more than $1.2 million in jobless benefits, the Department Of Justice officials said.
Fontrell Antonio Baines, 31, of Memphis, Tenn., is known online as Nuke Bizzle. Federal officials say he is currently a resident in the Hollywood Hills and is expected to make his first court appearance Friday afternoon in U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles.
In the video, which apparently was posted on Sept. 11, prosecutors say Baines rapped about doing “my swagger for EDD” and getting rich by “go[ing] to the bank with a stack of these” while holding up a several envelopes from EDD. A second man in the video raps, “you gotta sell cocaine, I just file a claim…”
The criminal complaint alleges Baines exploited the Pandemic Unemployment a*sistance provision of federal coronavirus relief, or CARES Act, that was supposed to expand unemployment benefits to freelance and gig workers.
Baines has been charged with access device fraud, aggravated identity theft and interstate transportation of stolen property. If convicted as charged, he faces a statutory maximum sentence of 22 years in federal prison.