A Hollywood Hills rapper who bragged in a music video about getting wealthy by committing COVID-19 fraud plans to plead responsible to federal fraud and firearms expenses.
Fontrell Antonio Baines, 33, who information music underneath the pseudonym “Nuke Bizzle,” claimed in one in every of his songs that he fraudulently took benefit of pandemic-related unemployment advantages. Within the video in query, Baines held up a stack of envelopes that gave the impression to be from the California Employment Growth Division (EDD).
Baines, who’s initially from Memphis, admitted to utilizing a number of addresses that he had entry to in Beverly Hills and Koreatown to use for unentitled EDD advantages, in keeping with the US Division of Justice.
In a single occasion, Baines used the identification of a Missouri man who briefly attended college in California to use for unemployment advantages, regardless that the person by no means labored within the state. Baines used the cardboard issued to that man to withdraw about $2,500 in money utilizing the EDD-issued debit card.
Since his arrest in October 2020, Baines has admitted to submitting 92 fraudulent claims via the Pandemic Unemployment Help program. In whole, he acquired greater than $700,000 in fraudulent advantages and utilized for greater than $1.2 million.
Baines, who’s a felon, additionally admitted to federal investigators that he saved a semi-automatic pistol and ammunition at his house in Hollywood Hills.
Within the coming days, Baines is anticipated to enter responsible pleas for mail fraud and unlawful firearm possession, the DOJ stated.
He faces a most sentence of 20 years for the mail fraud cost and 10 years for the firearm cost. He additionally agreed to forfeit greater than $56,000 beforehand seized by legislation enforcement as a part of the investigation.
Anybody with details about tried fraud involving COVID-19 fund can report it by contacting the DOJ’s Nationwide Heart for Catastrophe Fraud Hotline at 866-720-5721. You too can submit a criticism on-line.