Chad Arrington, a Maryland-based wannabe rapper who bought his seemingly successful music career with a company credit card, pleaded guilty on Monday to wire fraud conspiracy for making more than $4.1 million in unauthorized purchases. According to the Justice Department, Arrington and four other unnamed co-conspirators used the American Express company credit card to artificially boost Arrington’s “hip-hop artist alter-ego, Chad Focus” and his company, Focus Music Entertainment, between 2015 and 2018. Among the items that were bought with the millions: billboards across the country promoting “Chad Focus,” Arrington’s 4 million YouTube views, his 180,000 Instagram followers, Spotify plays, sound equipment, instruments, and apparel that had “Focus” written on it.
According to the Department of Justice, Arrington was able to conceal the scheme by using software to hide the recipient of the credit card payments. He also allegedly forged the signature of his supervisor on his credit card billing statements to make it seem like he had approval for purchases. Arrington will be required to pay the full amount—$4,142,435.31—in restitution to his former employer. He faces a maximum of 20 years in prison and is slated to be sentenced in May.