Fontrell Baines, 31, a rapper who goes by the stage name of “Nuke Bizzle,” was arrested on three felony counts of access device fraud, aggravated identity theft and interstate transportation of stolen property, thus facing up to 22 years in federal prison. It’s not just that the evidence shows that Baines and his co-conspirators fraudulently obtained at least 92 debit cards pre-loaded with more than $1.2 million on them and converted the cards into more than $700,000 of ill-gotten gains. The rapper was caught after he posted a music video about the scheme on YouTube, leading to his arrest last month while he had multiple debit cards in his possession with the names of people who weren’t him.. The catchy rap song, in which he boasts about getting “rich off of EDD, amassed more than 400,000 views and also alerted authorities to his scheme.
“Unemployment so sweet,” Baines raps. “We had 1.5 land this week!” A cohort on the video joins in, “You gotta sell cocaine, I can just file a claim!”
Prosecutors say the stolen cards were sent to addresses in Beverly Hills and the Koreatown neighborhood of Los Angeles, where “Nuke” could get grab them. For inspiration….
- How incompetent does a state government have to be that devises a system where citizens’ hard-earned tax money is distributed in a manner this easy to misappropriate?
- What kind of internal connections are missing that would lead someone to steal the funds sent to presumably desperate people and then brag about it on a video?
- Is this a pathology we can blame on social media? On 21st Century ethics rot?
- I don’t recall earlier generations having criminals who went on stage performing songs that revealed their crimes. Did Bruno Hauptmann pen a ditty that went, “I snatched the Lindbergh’s baby, and I don’t mean maybe”? If he had, wouldn’t he have been regarded as a lunatic? I know Eric Clapton sang “I shot the sheriff,” but he didn’t really shoot a sheriff. (Or did he?)
- Because this idiot’s name is Fontrelle and he goes by the Snoop Dog-inspired “Nuke Bizzle” nom de plume, I presume he is an African-American. Does that mean I am indulging in racial stereotypes?
- Am I correct in concluding that someone who would do this has no ethics alarms at all? He doesn’t see anything wrong with it, he isn’t ashamed, and he not only doesn’t attempt to hide it, he publicizes it. How does someone get this way?
- Or, in the alternative, is he just astoundingly stupid? In either case, how can someone like this ever be trusted to live in society? You can’t fix this degree of stupid, and there is no evidence that you can install ethics alarms where none ever existed.
- Is locking Fontrelle up contributing to “mass incarceration”?