An aspiring rapper who admitted to stealing millions of dollars to boost his music career has been sentenced to 30 months behind bars.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Maryland, 33-year-old Chad Arrington, aka “Chad Focus,” received his sentence Wednesday, more than a year after he pleaded guilty to federal wire fraud conspiracy. The charge stemmed from a multi-year scheme in which Chad Focus allegedly used a company credit card to make more than $4 million worth of fraudulent purchases. Prosecutors say he had used the stolen money to buy billboards across the U.S., including one in Times Square that touted him as the “#1 recording artist in the world.” He is also accused of using some of that money to purchase social media followers as well as services that artificially increased online streaming of his songs.
Chad Focus allegedly conducted the scheme from at least January 2015 to August 2018.
“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.”
Investigators say Chad Focus hid his crime by asking two co-conspirators to doctor entries on credit card billing statements so that his supervisor wouldn’t know who was receiving the fraudulent payments. He is also accused of forging his supervisor’s signature on credit card billing statements to make it seem as though he had received authorization for the transactions.
After completing his prison sentence, Chad Focus will serve 12 months of home confinement as part of three years of supervised release. The judge also ordered him to pay $4,142,435.31 in restitution to cover the victim’s losses.
“I did let down the city,” the artist said during Wednesday’ sentencing hearing. “I let down the youth.”