The coronavirus pandemic and the radical response of some of the nation’s governors have thrust many Americans into financial turmoil, compelling D.C. to dispense financial relief across the states in order to ease their struggles.
But some see it as an opportunity to exploit government aid.
On Friday, KCBS-TV reported that 31-year-old Hollywood Hills rapper Fontrell Antonio Baines — known as Nuke Bizzle — would appear at a U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles for an allegation of “fraudulently applying for more than $1.2 million in jobless benefits,” according to Department of Justice officials.
On Sept. 23, Las Vegas police arrested Baines and found him in possession of “eight [Employment Development Department] debit cards, seven of which were in the names of other people, according to an affidavit filed with the criminal complaint.”
For someone to steal more than a million dollars that could have gone to the needs of plenty of suffering families during a pandemic is almost unfathomable.
Fortunately, there are people like Baines who, in a fit of prideful triumph over a short-lived scam for American taxpayer dollars, unintentionally snitched on himself.
How? Why his music video for his song “EDD,” of course!
He couldn’t have been more obvious. The video was released Sept. 11 via YouTube, and not even two weeks later he was arrested.
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“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,” KCBS reported. “A second man in the video raps, ‘you gotta sell cocaine, I just file a claim.’”
Baines’ alleged method of stealing financial aid from many Americans was by “exploit[ing] the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance provision of federal coronavirus relief, or CARES Act, that was supposed to expand unemployment benefits to freelance and gig workers.”
The affidavit further detailed that at least 92 EDD cards with a total sum of more than $1.2 million “in fraudulent[ly] obtained benefits” were sent to Beverly Hills and Koreatown addresses to which Baines had access.
According to KCBS, federal investigators mentioned the presence of “co-schemers” who together “allegedly withdrew or spent more than $704,000 in cash from these cards.”
Baines’ charges are for access device fraud, aggravated identity theft and interstate transportation of stolen property, and he “faces a statutory maximum sentence of 22 years in federal prison” if convicted.
At least Baines had the decency to shout out President Donald Trump’s administration for the very financial relief the rapper exploited.
Trump’s political opposition touts how he has supposedly done absolutely nothing for the American people in pandemic relief, yet a grateful schemer has proven that aid has been made available by the Trump administration all along.
Thankfully another exploiter of taxpayer dollars has been caught. Hopefully Democratic politicians in Washington, D.C., will quit exploiting their time in the Senate for political reasons and finally pass more pandemic relief to suffering Americans.
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