Rapper who bragged about Covid reduction fraud sentenced to over 6 years

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 stated.

The 77-month sentence additionally included responsible pleas in separate instances to gun and drug counts, the U.S. Legal professional’s Workplace in Los Angeles stated.

Fontrell Antonio Baines, who goes by “Nuke Bizzle,” stole greater than $700,000 in Covid-19 unemployment advantages, in a scheme by which different folks’s names or stolen identities have been used, prosecutors stated.

Baines, 33, bragged concerning the fraud in movies on YouTube and Instagram, in accordance with court docket paperwork. The fraud went from a minimum of July 2020 to September of that yr.

A tune posted on-line in September 2020 was titled “EDD,” which is the identify of California’s Employment Improvement Division in control of unemployment funds.

The video, cited by prosecutors in court docket paperwork, options handfuls of $100 payments, and other people 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. Legal professional’s Workplace for the Central District of California stated.

Baines in a letter to the choose stated he has regret. “On a regular basis that I take into consideration what I did I remorse my actions and the impression my crime had on others,” he wrote.

Along with the jail sentence, Baines was was additionally ordered to pay $704,760 in restitution.

Congress accepted large monetary assets to assist these impacted by the Covid-19 pandemic, which shut down massive components of the economic system.

The U.S. Division of Labor Workplace of the Inspector Basic has estimated that there was $872.5 billion in pandemic unemployment insurance coverage funding — and a minimum of $163 billion in pandemic UI advantages may have been paid improperly, together with by way of fraud.