A Tennessee rapper is sentenced after bragging about how he made a fortune from COVID fraud.

A Tennessee rapper was sentenced to more than six years in jail after he bragged about scamming California’s Employment Development Department out of $700,000 in COVID relief funds in a music video. 

Fontrell Antonio Bines, 33-year old rapper known as ‘Nuke Bizzle, was sentenced on Wednesday. He also pleaded guilty for a separate case involving gun and drug charges.

Baines was arrested on October 2020 after he released the song ‘EDD’ in which he boasted about how he got rich by stealing California’s jobless benefits during the pandemic. 

Prosecutors claimed that the rapper stole identities of people to get the money between July 2020 and September 2020.

According to the US Attorney’s Office the rapper, who was a California resident at the time, filed fraudulent unemployment claims and was ordered by the US Attorney’s Office to pay the money back.

Frontrell Antonio Bains, 33, was sentenced Wednesday to more than six-years in prison after he boasted about stealing California unemployment funds.

The Rapper, Known As 'Nuke Bizzle', Lived In California When He Filed 92 Fraudulent Claims Between July And September Of 2020

The rapper, also known as Nuke Bizzle, was living in California at the time he filed 92 fraudulent claims from July to September 2020.

In the music video, Baines brags about doing ‘my swagger for EDD’ and holds up a stack of envelopes from EDD, revealing his plans to ‘go to the bank with a stack of these’ – presumably a reference to the pre-paid debit cards that come in the mail.

Baines continues, “I just got rich off the EDD…I justwoken up to 300 Gs,” in the song.

A second rapper in the video intones, ‘You gotta sell cocaine, I just file a claim….’

Prosecutors claimed that Baines applied for EDD debit card cards in the names third-parties, such as identity theft victims. These cards were mailed to addresses Baines had in Beverly Hills or Koreatown.

The rapper also claimed the identity of a Missourian man and took $2,500 under his own name.

Prosecutors alleged that the rapper ‘unlawfully abused the Pandemic unemployment Assistance provisions of the CARES Act in order to obtain unemployment insurance money…to which he was not entitled.

Officials explained that the rapper used funds intended for unemployed workers to fund his personal piggybank.

Baines filed claims for benefits at addresses in Koreatown, Beverly Hills, Los Angeles County. According to the US release, the applications for benefits contained false statements about the work histories as well as the in-state residences. ‘Through his fraud, Baines turned the taxpayer-funded program into “his personal piggybank.”‘

The Rapper Was Seen Above Wearing Gold Jewelry And Designer Clothing

The rapper was spotted above in designer clothing and gold jewelry

Baines, A Memphis Native, Tipped Off The Authorities To His Scheme When He Posted A Music Video In 2020 About Getting Rich Off State Funds. Pictured: The Music Video Titled 'Edd'

Baines, a Memphis native who posted a music clip in 2020 about how to get rich off state funds, was able to tip off authorities. Pictured: The music video entitled ‘EDD’

Officials Explained The Rapper Used The Funds Intended For Unemployed Workers As 'His Personal Piggy Bank'

Officials explained that the rapper used funds intended for unemployed workers to fund his personal piggybank.

According to the affidavit, evidence from the investigation showed that at least 92 debit card were pre-loaded with more fraudulently obtained benefits than $1.2million.

Baines and his accomplices allegedly had access to more than $704,000 of these benefits via cash withdrawals in Las Vegas, as also purchases of merchandise or services.

Baines was found with eight EDD debit card cards. Seven of them were in the names other people, according the affidavit.

Unemployment fraud is a concern after $872.5 billion was distributed in the country during the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is estimated that fraudulent claims have cost $163 billion. CNBC reported. 

Baines And His Conspirators Allegedly Accessed More Than $704,000 Of These Benefits Through Cash Withdrawals, Including In Las Vegas, As Well As Purchases Of Merchandise And Services

Baines and his conspirators allegedly obtained more than $704,000 through cash withdrawals, including in Las Vegas. They also purchased merchandise and services.

Baines has a long criminal history, which is not to be confused with his EDD scheme. When he was arrested in 2020 police found a semi-automatic pistol and 14 rounds of ammunition in the home of the rapper in Hollywood Hills. 

Baines was previously convicted in Tennessee of illegal possession with intent to sell drugs. This conviction prohibited him from possessing guns or ammunition. After being found in Nevada with a firearm, Baines was also convicted. 

Recently, the rapper was also caught with narcotics in his checked baggage at Memphis International Airport in January 2020. Police found seven pounds of marijuana and other controlled substances. 

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