A Memphis rapper who boasted about committing Covid-19 reduction fraud in a music video was sentenced to over six years in jail Wednesday, prosecutors mentioned.
The 77-month sentence additionally included responsible pleas in separate instances to gun and drug counts, the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace in Los Angeles mentioned.
Fontrell Antonio Baines, who goes by “Nuke Bizzle,” stole greater than $700,000 in Covid-19 unemployment advantages, in a scheme during which different individuals’s names or stolen identities have been used, prosecutors mentioned.
Baines, 33, bragged in regards to the fraud in movies on YouTube and Instagram, in accordance with court docket paperwork. The fraud went from not less than July 2020 to September of that 12 months.
A track posted on-line in September 2020 was titled “EDD,” which is the identify of California’s Employment Growth Division in command of unemployment funds.
The video, cited by prosecutors in court docket paperwork, options handfuls of $100 payments, and folks checking the mail and typing on laptops. At one level one other performer raps, “You gotta promote cocaine, I can simply file a declare.”
Federal public defenders representing Baines declined to remark Wednesday.
Along with the Covid fraud case, Baines pleaded responsible to illegal possession of a firearm and ammunition by a convicted felon, and possession of oxycodone with intent to distribute, the U.S. Lawyer’s Workplace for the Central District of California mentioned.
Baines in a letter to the choose mentioned he has regret. “On a regular basis that I take into consideration what I did I remorse my actions and the influence my crime had on others,” he wrote.
Along with the jail sentence, Baines was was additionally ordered to pay $704,760 in restitution.
Congress authorized large monetary sources to assist these impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, which shut down giant components of the financial system.
The U.S. Division of Labor Workplace of the Inspector Normal has estimated that there was $872.5 billion in pandemic unemployment insurance coverage funding — and not less than $163 billion in pandemic UI advantages might have been paid improperly, together with by fraud.