When the clout-chasing goes too far.
Appearance plays a significant role in being a successful rapper. If the success ain't coming your way, you gotta stunt like it is until people take notice. In other words, fake it 'til you make it. That appears to have been the ethos of Chad Arrington, the Baltimore rapper who goes by Chad Focus.
According to The Baltimore Sun, Arrington has pled guilty to fraudulently spending millions on his company credit card in order boost his side hustle. Court documents detail that he stole about $4.1 million from an unnamed company on a variety of creative schemes. Prosecutors dropped six other related charges in his plea deal, including wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, but Arrington is being forced to pay back "Company A" even more than he spent when going to town with their Amex.
He invested the stolen money in billboards that promoted himself with slogans like “Get to the money," “Chad Focus. I will teach you how to be rich," and “No. 1 recording artist in the world.” He dropped racks on expensive jewelry and musical equipment. He bought social media followers and paid to inflate his streaming numbers to give the impression of having already attained fame. $125,000 of the company’s money was spent on concert tickets, including to his own concerts.
Arrington is set to be sentenced on May 14 and faces up to 20 years in federal prison.