LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — 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.

Baines was arrested Sept. 23 by Las Vegas police and was found to be in possession of eight EDD debit cards, seven of which were in the names of other people, according to an affidavit filed with the criminal complaint against Baines.

(credit: YouTube)

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 Assistance provision of federal coronavirus relief, or CARES Act, that was supposed to expand unemployment benefits to freelance and gig workers.

According to the affidavit, the investigation turned up at least 92 EDD debit cards preloaded with more than $1.2 million in fraudulent obtained benefits mailed to addresses that Baines had access to in Beverly Hills and Koreatown. Federal investigators say Baines and his co-schemers allegedly withdrew or spent more than $704,000 in cash from these cards.

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.

Comments (118)
  1. CC says:

    Would like to know how something like this slips through the system. My husband had a heart attack, diabetes, cancer, retired navy and was unable to work and still they wouldn’t approve him for disability. When they finally did he had to wait 6 months to receive their penance with no back pay. So many people on hard times and someone like this scams the same system that takes an act of Congress for the needy who truly are legit and paid their dues to the system. Unbelievable

  2. Mr. Big says:

    Meanwhile, white people embezzle and steal millions of dollars and get a couple of months in a country club. Whites push huge amounts of drug weight and get a couple of months. But this guy is gonna get 22 years for this? That why they call this the JUST US system.

    1. Ashley says:

      White people are not dumb enough to make a video incriminating themselves. He deserves whatever sentence he gets for being so dumb.

  3. Steven says:

    Black Leeches Matter, Mr. Big, you love whites, don’t you…. thank your lucky stars the Spanish took your relatives from the other blacks who sold them and brought you to a place where you can both steal, be well fed, and complain… or you would live in a carphole where your relatives sold you out…

  4. Jim Christian says:

    How are we to look at these depravities? As crime. If we’re to morph into a reparative society, we can’t have fraud mixed in. Still, I really could not care less. These thefts are routine.

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