LAS VEGAS (KLAS) -- A rapper arrested in Las Vegas who bragged in a music video about an unemployment scam where he received more than $1.2 million faces federal charges of fraud, authorities said.
According to federal court documents, Fontrell Antonio Baines, 31, of Memphis, Tennessee, is accused of scheming the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program of the CARES Act, which is designed to expand access to unemployment benefits to self-employed workers, independent contractors, and others who would not otherwise be eligible.
Baines, who uses the stage name "Nuke Bizzle," lives in California and used stolen identifies to obtain the money, prosecutors said.
“According to an affidavit filed with the complaint, Baines possessed and used debit cards pre-loaded with unemployment benefits administered by the California Employment Development Department,” federal prosecutors said in a news release. “The debit cards were issued in the names of third-parties, including identity theft victims. The applications for these debit cards listed addresses to which Baines had access in Beverly Hills and Koreatown.”
Some of the money was withdrawn in Las Vegas, prosecutors said. Metro Police arrested Baines on Sept. 23. In his possession were eight debit cards, seven of which were in other peoples’ names, federal prosecutors said.
According to court documents, Baines posted a music video titled “EDD” on YouTube which included the lyrics “I got rich off of EDD.” Another part of the video includes the lyrics from a second performer: “You gotta sell cocaine, I just file a claim,” prosecutors said.
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Baines faces charges of access device fraud, aggravated identity theft and interstate transportation of stolen property.