Baines, 31, goes by the rap name Nuke Bixxle.
If convicted on all the charges, he could face a maximum sentence of up to 22 years in prison.
Prior to his arrest, Bizzle - under the usernames nukebizzle1 and nukebizzle23 - posted videos to his Instagram account and on YouTube, in which he bragged about defrauding benefits programs in a music video. The rapper allegedly used a number of fake identities to apply for unemployment benefits and bragged about defrauding the California Employment Development Department (EDD) in a music video he released on September 10, titled "EDD".
Baines, originally from Memphis Tennessee but who now resides in the Hollywood Hills in California, was allegedly exploiting the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance (PUA) provision of the CARES Act which the DOJ says is created to expand access to unemployment benefits to self-employed workers, independent contractors, and others who would not otherwise be eligible.
A second rapper in the video intones, 'You gotta sell cocaine, I just file a claim....' According to the affidavit, he consented to a search.
Las Vegas Police also arrested Baines on September 23 after discovering he had seven debit cards under other people's names.
Las Vegas police also found $49,734 stashed under Baines' seat, according to the affidavit.
The unemployment debit cards were issued in the names of third-parties, including identity theft victims, prosecutors said. They said the cards were sent to addresses to which Baines had access in Beverly Hills and the Koreatown neighborhood of Los Angeles.
By the time he was arrested, Baines and his circle had allegedly already cashed in $704,000 United States dollars of benefits in combined cash and purchases.
The affidavit reportedly alleges that 92 EDD debit cards were preloaded with a total of more than $1.2 million in fraudulent benefits.
The local report states that Baines took part in the scam along with other "co-schemers" who allegedly withdrew more than $704,000 in cash from the EDD cards.
The rapper recently made a music video in which he boasts about getting rich off of scamming the government for money given out under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security Act.