Memphis rapper sentenced for COVID fraud after releasing song describing his crimes
MEMPHIS, Tenn. (WMC) - A judge sentenced a Memphis rapper to over six years in prison over COVID relief fraud.
Fontrell Antonio Baines, aka Nuke Bizzle, was sentenced to 77 months in prison and ordered to pay $704,760 in restitution to the California Employment Development Department (EDD).
Baines was arrested in October 2020 after releasing a song titled “EDD” that explained his scheme.
“I just got rich off of EDD,” the song’s lyrics state.
Prosecutors say Baines exploited the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance to receive unemployment insurance money for more than $700,000 from 92 fraudulent claims.
He used a false identity of a Missouri man to apply for the benefits.
During his arrest, authorities also found an illegal semi-automatic pistol at his Beverly Hills home. Because of prior felony convictions, he was not legally allowed to own this.
In January 2020, he was also stopped at Memphis International Airport with a bag containing oxycodone, promethazine with codeine, alprazolam and more than seven pounds of marijuana.
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