MEMPHIS, Tenn. — Federal prosecutors in California say a Memphis-bred rapper’s Covid relief claims tested positive for fraud.
Nuke Bizzle, whose real name is Fontrell Baines, is accused of filing for $1.2 million worth of fraudulent unemployment claims under the CARES Act.
Prosecutors pointed to a music video posted in September in which Baines raps, “unemployment so sweet. We got 1.5.” Another rapper says, “You got to sell cocaine. I just file a claim.”
Prosecutors say Baines received at least 92 debit cards loaded with unemployment benefits. They say some of those cards were obtained using stolen identities.
He had only been able use about $700,000 of the $1.2 million he allegedly stole when he was arrested in September, they said.
He’s been charged with interstate transportation of stolen property, aggravated identity theft and access device fraud.
Baines currently has an active warrant out for his arrest in Shelby County for obtaining a controlled substance by fraud. That warrant was issued in June. Over the years, he’s racked up a number of drug and weapons charges in Shelby County and has also been arrested for assault and evading arrest.
“We ain’t doing no talking on no camera about Fontrell,” said a woman at a South Memphis home linked to Baines family members.
According to prosecutors, Baines currently lives in Hollywood Hills, California.
If convicted, Baines faces up to 22 years in federal prison.