Please, I implore you, try not to let what I’m about to tell you destroy your faith in the integrity of the hip-hop community.
Mr. “Nuke Bizzle,” also known as Fontrell Antonio Baines, is under arrest in Los Angeles on federal charges of fraudulently applying for more than $1.2 million in “jobless benefits,” using stolen identities.
Another form of welfare fraud – from an aspiring rapper, no less.
Reached for comment, Nuke Bizzle’s mother said, “He’s a good boy, a very good boy.”
The headline from the feds in California sums the case up nicely:
“Rapper Who Bragged about Unemployment Benefits Scam in Music Video Arrested for Allegedly Bilking COVID-19 Jobless Relief Program.”
Mr. Bizzle was grabbing Panic-related funds which were supposed to be used to provide more unemployment benefits to people who might not otherwise be eligible, like the self-employed, or independent contractors.
Or aspiring rappers in the Hollywood Hills, apparently.
Mr. Bizzle was lugged with multiple debit cards, the US attorney in LA said, “issued in the names of third parties, including identity theft victims. The applications for these debit cards listed addresses to which Bizzle had access in Beverly Hills and Koreatown.”
His fiancé, the future Mrs. Nuke Bizzle, could not be reached for comment.
“…. At least 92 debit cards that had been pre-loaded with more than $1.2 million in fraudulently obtained benefits were mailed to these addresses… (Bizzle and his coconspirators) allegedly accessed more than $704,000 of these benefits through cash withdrawals, including in Las Vegas, as well as purchases of merchandise and service.”
The US attorney continues:
“(Bizzle) bragged about his ability to defraud the EDD (California Employment Development Department) in a music video posted on YouTube and in postings to his Instagram account, under the handles ‘nukebizzle1’ and ‘nukebizzle23.’… (Nuke Bizzle) boasts about doing ‘my swagger for EDD,’ and holding up a stack of envelopes from EDD, getting rich by ‘go(ing) to the bank with a stack of these’ – presumably a reference to the debit cards that come in the mail.
“A second rapper in the video intones, ‘You gotta sell cocaine. I just file a claim….’”
Nuke Bizzle was arrested in Las Vegas. He had in his possession eight debit cards, in the names of seven different individuals.
Mr. Bizzle is charged with three felony counts – access-device fraud, aggravated identity theft, and interstate transportation of stolen property.
If convicted, he could be sentenced to up to 22 years in federal prison. But it’s extremely unlikely this icon of the hip-hop community will serve anything near that long.
After all, Nuke Bizzle is a good boy, a very good boy.