MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WREG) — Federal prosecutors in California say a Memphis-bred rapper’s COVID-19 relief claims tested positive for fraud.
Nuke Bizzle, whose real name is Fontrell Baines, is accused of filing for $1.2 million worth of fraudulent unemployment claims under the CARES Act.
According to the U.S. Department of Justice, the 31-year-old rapper “boasted in a YouTube music video about getting rich from committing unemployment benefits fraud.”
Prosecutors pointed to a music video posted in September in which Baines raps, “unemployment so sweet. We got 1.5.” Another rapper says, “You got to sell cocaine. I just file a claim.”
Prosecutors say Baines received at least 92 debit cards loaded with unemployment benefits. They say some of those cards were obtained using stolen identities.
He had used about $700,000 of the $1.2 million when he was arrested, they said.
He was arrested Friday and has been charged with interstate transportation of stolen property, aggravated identity theft and access device fraud.
Baines currently has an active warrant out for his arrest in Shelby County, Tennessee, for obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. That warrant was issued in June. Over the years, he’s racked up a number of drug and weapons charges in Shelby County and has also been arrested for assault and evading arrest.
A woman at a South Memphis home linked to Baines’ family members refused to comment. “We ain’t doing no talking on no camera about Fontrell,” she said.
According to prosecutors, Baines currently lives in Hollywood Hills, California.
If convicted, he faces up to 22 years in federal prison.
More Crime Coverage From 8News
- A Chesterfield man is on trial for the murder of 9-year-old Markiya Dickson, who was struck and killed by a bullet during a Memorial Day cookout in 2019.
- A man is fighting for his life after being shot in Whitcomb Court Monday night.
- Police are investigating an early morning shooting in Henrico County.
- Crime analysts were able to watch in real-time and assist the officers.
- Other possible victims asked to come forward after chiropractor arrested for sexual assault in RichmondA local chiropractor has been arrested and charged for a sexual assault that occurred in northwest Richmond. Now police are worried that the chiropractor, who normally operated in North Chesterfield, may have other victims.
- The Henrico County Police Department responded to a shooting on Broad Street late Monday evening.
- One man is dead following a shooting in Richmond's southside on Monday night.
- Four shot in Shockoe Bottom near the Exxon on East Broad Street. The report shows that most calls are for disorderly conduct, but other frequent calls include gunfire, assault, fight, intoxication, drugs, trespassing, larceny, fraud, loud music, and robbery.
- Six months into 2021, Transportation Security Administration (TSA) officers at Richmond International Airport (RIC) have caught nine firearms from individuals trying to bring the weapons through security.
- The Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office found the remains of 20-year-old Dylan Dakota Whetzel in the woods on Feb. 1. Now three suspects have been indicted for over 20 charges each, including murder by mob and physically defiling a dead human body.