Fontrell Antonio Baines, a 31-year-old rapper called Nuke Bizzle, was locked up on three felonious charges — counts of access device fraud, aggravated identity theft, and interstate transportation of stolen property.
A U.S. Attorney’s Office said that the artists and his co-conspirators copped almost 100 unemployment debit cards pre-loaded with more than $1.2 million.
They have evidence since he has taken to social media to brag about his crimes and even posted videos on YouTube where he admits to getting paid with his government schemes.
In one video he said, “Unemployment so sweet. We had 1.5 land this week. You gotta sell cocaine, I can just file a claim.”
Is this the first rapper to have dubbed the government on funds intended to help the poor and flaunted the wealth to their fanbase? That answer would be “no.”
On March 30, 1995, MTV aired a segment entitled “Ol’ Dirty Bastard Gets Paid,” featuring the founding member Wu-Tang Clan, Ol’ Dirty Bastard.
On the show, ODB wasn’t going to scoop a big check from a concert promoter, or linking with his business manager to check on his bubbling publishing from the hit album Enter the Wu-Tang: 36 Chambers that came out two years prior.
Instead, the clips showed ODB going on a trip to a New York welfare office to pick up a $375 check and some food stamps, a couple of days after the release of his debut album Return to the 36 Chambers: The Dirty Version (which featured his actual welfare identification card as the cover art).
The rapper boasted while dripping in expensive gear and riding in a long limousine, that it is a “no brainer” to get public assistance saying while looking in the camera, “Why wouldn’t you want to get free money?”
However, it was later revealed by his biographer that this act was a socio-political action — as radical as his “Wu-Tang is for the children” comment.
Dirt McCirt’s historian Buddha Monk said that the unorthodox emcee once said, “The people that want to cut off the welfare, man, I think that’s terrible. Do you know how hard it is for people to live without nothing’? You owe me 40 acres and a mule anyway. For real. I’m in this rap game to get money… I got babies. It’s time to take care of my babies.”
But that wasn’t the case for Nuke Bizzle, since he was not worried about making a statement as much as he was about getting the bag. He and his partners allegedly had a full enterprise that furnished them with over 7 figures.
According to a court affidavit seen by the Los Angeles Daily News, when they arrested Nuke Brizzle on September 23rd, he was nabbed with eight of the cards on him.
Each of these cards had the names of other people on them. The federal prosecutors said that the men ordered the cards using third-party monikers (which is considered identity theft) and had them sent to various California neighborhoods like Beverly Hills and Koreatown, where the crew had already withdrawn over $704,000.
Nuke Bizzle could possibly serve up to 22 years in federal prison if convicted.