A Memphis rapper who bragged in his music about getting rich from unemployment funds during the pandemic has pleaded guilty to fraud charges.
Under his plea deal, Fontrell Antonio Baines, known across social media as “Nuke Bizzle,” pleaded guilty to one count of mail fraud. He also admitted to illegally possessing a semi-automatic pistol found in his Hollywood Hills home in October 2020.
According to his plea agreement, Baines admitted to defrauding the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance program of the CARES Acts between July and September 2020. The 33-year-old used stolen identities to apply for unemployment benefits. He would have the debit cards with the loaded funds sent to several addresses in Beverly Hills and Koreatown. Baines would then use the cards to withdraw the money. In total, he filed 92 fraudulent claims with the Employment Development Department and received over $1,256,108 in fraudulent funds.
Baines used some of the money to support his rap career, with much of his music centering around his scammer lifestyle. In his boldest song titled “EDD,” after California’s unemployment program, he raps, “I done got rich off of EDD.” In the music video, he is seen holding stacks of envelopes containing the illegally obtained debit cards.
Baines initially pleaded not guilty in November 2020. However, he has changed his tune, opting to wrap up the case without a trial. He is facing a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for the mail fraud count and another ten years for unlawful firearm possession.