December 3, 2022

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Rap Artist “Chad Focus” Sentenced to Extra Than Two Years in Federal Jail for Wire Fraud Conspiracy

Baltimore, Maryland – U.S. District Decide Richard D. Bennett sentenced Chad Arrington a/okay/a “Chad Focus”, age 33, of Randallstown, Maryland to 30 months in federal jail, adopted by 12 months of residence confinement as a part of three years of supervised launch, for a federal wire fraud conspiracy in reference to a scheme to make use of an organization bank card to make greater than $4.1 million in unauthorized purchases.  Decide Bennett additionally ordered Arrington to pay restitution within the full quantity of the sufferer’s losses, totaling $4,142,435.31.

The sentence was introduced by Appearing United States Lawyer for the District of Maryland Jonathan F. Lenzner and Appearing Particular Agent in Cost Rachel Byrd of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Subject Workplace.

“Chad Arrington illegally used an organization bank card to spend greater than $4 million to advertise himself as a hip-hop artist and to advertise his firm,” stated Appearing U.S. Lawyer Jonathan F. Lenzner. “Now Arrington will spend greater than two years in federal jail.  The USA Lawyer’s Workplace for the District of Maryland will proceed to make the most of our assets to prosecute any such pricey fraud.”  

In accordance with his plea settlement, Arrington was employed by Firm 1 as a Search Engine Optimization (“web optimization”) Specialist from roughly 2011 to August 2018.  As an web optimization Specialist, Arrington was chargeable for selling and advertising and marketing Firm 1’s services and products on-line.  Firm 1 assigned Arrington an American Specific firm bank card (the “bank card”) for use for enterprise bills, solely. 

From at the very least January 2015 by August 2018, Arrington, and 4 co-conspirators used the bank card for fraudulent purchases, together with to advertise his hip-hop artist alter-ego, Chad Focus, and Focus Music Leisure, in addition to to make unauthorized purchases that benefitted them every personally.

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Arrington admitted that he used the bank card to buy sound tools, studio kits, devices, and music expertise, which he then used to create an artist alter-ego “Chad Focus,” and produce quite a few hip-hop songs by the corporate he fashioned, Focus Music Leisure LLC.  Arrington then used the bank card to make further unauthorized purchases together with promotional companies to extend on-line streaming of his songs, buy “likes,” “followers,” “tags,” and “views” throughout social media and viewing platforms; to buy companies from an organization that promoted mixtape movies and singles, his picture, and music; and to make unauthorized funds to a number of billboard firms to show photographs of Arrington and his web site all through america and to advertise Chad Focus and Focus Music Leisure LLC. Arrington additionally charged the bank card over $300,000 for unauthorized worldwide and nationwide journey bills, inns, airfares, evening life and different miscellaneous bills for himself and for Co-Conspirators 1 and a couple of.  Moreover, Arrington remodeled $375,000 in unauthorized purchases for Chad Focus merchandise, equipment, and purchases associated to a bike-sharing enterprise.  Between Could 2018 and August 2018, Arrington used the bank card to pay a number of billboard firms to create billboards for Chad Focus and Focus Music Leisure LLC.  For instance, a billboard displayed the picture of Arrington surrounded by stacks of money and the phrases “Get to the cash.”  One other billboard depicted Arrington with the phrases “Chad Focus. I’ll educate you the best way to be wealthy.”

In accordance with the plea settlement, Arrington used the bank card to make over $1.5 million in unauthorized purchases from entities and accounts managed by Co-Conspirator 2 and Co-Conspirator 3. In flip, the co-conspirators kicked again a whole bunch of 1000’s of {dollars} to Arrington by funneling money funds to Arrington and to accounts managed by Arrington. 

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With the intention to conceal the scheme, Arrington requested Co-Conspirator 1 and Co-Conspirator 4 to make use of laptop software program to make false entries on the bank card billing statements in an effort to conceal the recipient of the funds from Arrington’s supervisor and Firm 1.  Moreover, Arrington solid the signature of his supervisor on his bank card billing statements to make it seem as if he had obtained approval for sure purchases when, the truth is, he had not.  Arrington then despatched these false fee authorizations to different workers who relied on the authorizations to in the end repay the excellent stability of the bank card.                  

Appearing United States Lawyer Jonathan F. Lenzner recommended the FBI for its work within the investigation.  Mr. Lenzner thanked Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mary W. Setzer and Matthew Phelps, who prosecuted the case.