Rapper Chad Focus will spend more than 2 years in federal prison for wire fraud.
Focus, real name Chad Arrington, plead guilty on charges that he used his employer’s credit card to make more than $4 million in unauthorized purchases.
According to his plea agreement, Focus was employed by a company as a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Specialist from 2011 to August 2018. He was responsible for promoting and marketing the company’s products and services online. They gave him an American Express company credit card to be used exclusively for business expenses.
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Instead, from at least January 2015 – August 2018, Focus and four co-conspirators used the credit card for fraudulent purchases to promote “Chad Focus” and Focus Music Entertainment. The group also used the credit card for unauthorized purchases that benefited them each personally.
Focus admitted he used the credit card to purchase sound equipment, studio kits, instruments, and music technology to produce a number of hip-hop songs through Focus Music Entertainment. He also used the credit card for payments to multiple billboard companies to promote himself and his website throughout the United States.
In order to hide the scheme, Focus asked two of his co-conspirators to use computer software to make false entries on the credit card billing statements. He also forged the signature of his supervisor on his credit card billing statements to make it seem like he received approval for certain purchases when did not.
Focus has been ordered to pay restitution in the full amount of the company’s losses which totals $4,142,435.31.
“Chad Arrington illegally used a company credit card to spend more than $4 million to promote himself as a hip-hop artist and to promote his company,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Jonathan F. Lenzner. “Now Arrington will spend more than two years in federal prison. The United States Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland will continue to utilize our resources to prosecute this type of costly fraud.”
Following his 30 months behind bars, Focus will spend 12 more months on house arrest as part of three years of supervised release.