Here’s an important tip: If you’re engaged in fraud against the federal government, don’t brag about it online. For that matter, don’t broadcast what you’re doing anywhere — unless you want to get caught.
A Memphis-born rapper living in California is accused of filing $1.2 million in false unemployment claims, many using stolen identities. By the time he was arrested by federal authorities, he had burned through about $700,000 worth of those benefits, and he had at least 92 debit cards in his possession attached to those false claims.
The 31-year-old rapper now stands charged with aggravated identity theft, access device fraud and interstate transportation of stolen property. He’s also facing an active warrant in Tennessee related to procuring controlled substances via fraud. The California charges could lead to up to 22 years behind bars in a federal prison.
How did he get caught? In September, the musician brazenly rapped in a YouTube video about getting rich from filing unemployment claims. It didn’t take long before someone decided to see if his words were just “talk” or full of substance.
Identity theft and fraud are serious crimes. Far too often, people have the impression that the internet is so vast that they can say — or do — anything online and it will escape the notice of the authorities. That’s a big mistake. Plus, all of that information that’s put out there can generally end up being used against a defendant in court.
If you’ve made mistakes and you’re in trouble with the law, it’s time to get a skilled defense attorney on your side — and that’s the only person with whom you should ever discuss the particulars of your situation.