Finding inspiration for lyric is extremely important for any songwriter. But for Fontrell Antonio Baines, also known as Nuke Bizzle, he should have chosen another muse than stealing from the COVID-19 Unemployment fund. Released in a YouTube music video, Baines claimed he fraudulently took advantage of pandemic related unemployment benefits rapping “Unemployment so sweet. We had 1.5 land this week” while a background voice chants “You gotta sell cocaine, I can just file a claim.” In the video, for props he held up a stack of EDD envelopes that apparently contained government debit cards.
It was a bold claim, one worth investigating by the U.S. Department of Labor who found that Baines was indeed filing bogus claims. One July 6, 2022, Baines admitted to filing 92 fraudulent claims equaling $1.2 million, using multiple addresses that he had access to in Beverly Hills and Koreatown under more than just his own identity. In one claim he used the identity of a Missouri man who briefly attended school in California but had never worked in the state. Bain received $700,00 in total. Baines operated his fraud from July 2020 to September 2020- a short amount of time, but long enough to collect $700,000 and write his experience in a song. Of his experience he raps “EDD scams that something you heard about. I be so happy it’s certified. Get on the laptop, I’m workin’ now. Did 25 claims in four hours.”
Baines will soon have plenty of time to write more songs. Baines has yet to be sentenced but he is looking at up to 30 years in jail, including time for illegal firearm possession.
Great job to the U.S. Department of Labor for their work in this case.
Today’s “Fraud of the Day” is based on an article posted in the NY Post on July 7, 2022
Rapper Nuke Bizzle pleads guilty to $1.2M COVID relief fraud after bragging in video
Rapper Nuke Bizzle is headed to prison fo’ shizzle.
The rapper, whose real name is Fontrell Antonio Baines, 33, agreed to plead guilty to federal fraud and firearms charges after he bragged in a YouTube music video that he got rich by ripping off the COVID-19 unemployment fund, prosecutors announced Wednesday.
He’ll face a maximum of 30 years behind bars on one count of mail fraud and one count of unlawful firearm and ammunition possession when he enters his guilty plea in Los Angeles court, US Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California said in a news release.