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A hip-hop artist named Nuke Bizzle has been arrested on identity theft and fraud charges after federal authorities caught wind of a music video in which he raps about taking part in an unemployment scam.
Department of Justice officials confirmed the arrest of the 31-year-old from Memphis, whose real name is Fontrell Antonio Baines.
Authorities arrested him on federal charges of fraudulently applying for more than $1.2 million in jobless benefits, according to a CBS Los Angeles report.
Baines' arrest took place on Sept. 23 in Las Vegas, where he was found in possession of eight Employment Development Department (EDD) debit cards. All but one of those cards bore the names of other people, an affidavit reportedly states.
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His music video for the song "EDD" was posted on his YouTube account back on Sept. 11 and has racked up more than 530,000 views. It features him and another rapper boasting about taking money using other people's EDD debit cards.
Authorities arrested rapper Nuke Bizzle on federal charges of fraudulently applying for more than $1.2 million in jobless benefits, according to a report.
The lyrics include Baines boasting about his "swagger for EDD." He also mentions "go[ing] to the bank with a stack of these," at which he holds up Employment Development Department envelopes.
The affidavit reportedly alleges that 92 EDD debit cards were preloaded with a total of more than $1.2 million in fraudulent benefits. The cards were delivered to properties in Beverly Hills and Koreatown that investigators claim Baines had access to.
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The artist took advantage of the CARES act, which is meant to bring unemployment benefits to freelance workers, a criminal complaint filed against him reportedly states.
The local report states that Baines took part in the scam along with other "co-schemers" who allegedly withdrew more than $704,000 in cash from the EDD cards.
The rapper has been charged with access device fraud, interstate transportation of stolen property and aggravated identity theft. The charges reportedly carry a statutory maximum sentence of 22 years in prison.
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