Rapper who boasted about unemployment fraud scheme arrested

California EDD office

Nuke Bizzle rapped about getting rich from unemployment claims; feds charge him with doing just that

Said the DOJ: "Baines bragged about his ability to defraud the EDD in a music video posted on YouTube and in postings to his Instagram account, under the handles "nukebizzle1" and "nukebizzle23".

But that fictional tale was true to life, prosecutors for the USA attorney's office in Los Angeles allege.

Baines goes by the stage name Nuke Bizzle.

A representative for Baines could not be reached for comment.

Baines is accused of exploiting the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance provision of the CARES Act, which is created to expand access to unemployment benefits to the self-employed and gig workers.

Baines is facing multiple charges, including aggravated identity theft, access device fraud, and interstate transportation of stolen property.

If convicted on all the charges, he could face a maximum sentence of up to 22 years in prison. In the video, he holds up a wad of envelopes from the Employment Development Department and claims he got rich by going to the bank with those envelopes - likely a reference to the debit cards that had allegedly been sent to him.

Nuke Bizzle was taken into custody back in late September into custody while in Las Vegas during a routine traffic stop. According to the affidavit, he consented to a search.

Baines was arrested September 23 by Las Vegas police and was found to be in possession of eight EDD debit cards, seven of which were in the names of other people, according to an affidavit filed with the criminal complaint against Baines.

On Oct. 16, the U.S. Justice Department issued a press release to share details on the arrest of Fontrell Antonio Baines. Federal prosecutors allege that Baines and co-conspirators fraudulently obtained at least 92 debit cards pre-loaded with more than $1.2 million.

Prosecutors say that Baines applied for EDD debit cards in the names of third-parties, including identity theft victims, which were mailed to addresses which Baines had access to in Beverly Hills and Koreatown.

The rapper and others involved in the scheme accessed more than $704,000 of the $1.2 million in benefits by making cash withdrawals using the debit cards and using the withdrawn money to pay for goods and services.

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