Rapper boasting of unemployment scam arrested for fraud, theft

DeMicia Inman
·3 min read

Los Angeles based rapper Nuke Bizzle was charged with running an unemployment benefits scam after boasting about fraud in his music.

A California-based rapper faces fraud charges after being arrested for a crime he bragged about on a recently released song.

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Rapper Nuke Bizzle was arrested Friday in Los Angeles on federal charges of a financial scheme that involved stealing identities to claim over $1.2M in jobless benefits. According to ABC7, Nuke Bizzle, whose legal name is Fontrell Antonio Baines fraudulently collected insurance benefits allocated for unemployment under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

Born in Memphis, the 31-year-old currently lives in Hollywood Hills. Released on Sept. 11, his song EDD, which features another rapper Fat Wizza, bragged about making millions from the Employment Development Department, the office represented by the acronym in the title. In the song, both artists rhymed about how drug dealing is no longer their get-rich choice because now they can just file a claim.

“I just been swipin’ for EDD, go to the bank get a stack at least. This sh*t hit better than selling P’s, I made some racks that I couldn’t believe,” they repeat on the chorus. “I gotta shoutout to Donald Trump,” they continued.

According to ABC7, his charges include three felony offenses: access device fraud, aggravated identity theft, and interstate transportation of stolen property. If convicted of all of the charges, Baines would face up to 22 years in federal prison. The news outlet reported the affidavit cited the song and video as evidence.

In the video, both Nuke Bizzle and Fat Wizza are seen using the computer, picking up and dropping off EDD stamped mail, and throwing around loose cash and debit cards. Baines rapped “unemployment so sweet, we had 1.5 land this week,” while navigating a laptop screen.

The outlet also details a prior arrest on Sept. 23 in Las Vegas, when the rapper was found in possession of eight debit cards, seven in the names of other people.

The affidavit alleges that Baines possessed and used debit cards loaded with unemployment benefits administered by the California EDD by stealing the identities of other people. Evidence confirmed at least 92 debit cards had been equipped with more than $1.2M in fraudulently obtained benefits.

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$704K of those benefits were obtained by Baines and company through cash withdrawals, including while in Las Vegas. The money was also spent on various merchandise and services, according to the report.

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