Selling Cocaine or Committing Fraud, It’s Still Illegal

Binary data with the word IDENTITY appears in the shadow of a hand. Concept for digital crime. Blue toned image.

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

By Mark Lungariello

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.

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Larry Benson, Senior Director of Strategic Alliances, LexisNexis Risk Solutions - Government

Larry Benson is responsible for developing strategic partnerships and solutions for the government vertical. His expertise focuses on how government programs are defrauded by criminal groups, and the approaches necessary to prevent them from succeeding.

Mr. Benson has 30 years of experience in sales and business development. Before joining LexisNexis® Risk Solutions, he spent 12 years founding and managing two software technology startups. During the 1990s he spent 10 years as a Regional Director helping to grow a New England-based technology company from 300 employees to 7,000. He started his career with Martin Marietta Aerospace working on laser guided weapons and day/night vision systems.

A sought-after speaker and accomplished writer, Mr. Benson is the principal author of “Fraud of the Day,” a website dedicated to educating government officials about how criminals are defrauding government programs. He has co-authored WTF? Where’s the Fraud? How to Unmask and Stop Identity Fraud’s Drain on Our Government, and Data Personified, How Fraud is Changing the Meaning of Identity.

Benson holds a Bachelor of Science in Physics from Albright College, and earned two graduate degrees – a Master of Business Administration from Florida Institute of Technology, and a Master of Science in Engineering from Lehigh University.