Baltimore rapper Chad Focus received his sentence for defrauding $4 million on his company’s American Express card. The purchases between 2015 and 2018 were made to finance his rap dreams. According to The Baltimore Sun, Focus — born Chad Arrington — will be spending the next 30 months behind bars in federal prison.
Chad Focus admitted in a guilty plea that he stole from his employer to enhance his music career. The 33-year-old put up billboards in Times Square and Baltimore claiming he was the “No. 1 recording artist in the world.”
“I literally talked to Chad earlier this week,” WMAR2’s Michelle Richardson relayed. “He was in good spirits and he’ll be okay!”
His track “Dance With Me” impacted the Billboard dance charts with millions of streams, but it all proved to be a mirage with artificial Spotify streams he bought to beat the system.
Focus purchased studio equipment, sound kits, instruments, and various music technology on his employer, Agora Publishing’s dime to finance his Focus Music Entertainment LLC. He also allegedly blew $100,000 on “FOCUS” hats as well as $125,000 in flights and tickets for his shows.
He contested in court that the public attention has been humiliating and he has an undiagnosed mental illness, but the judge still went further than the one year and one day prison sentence Focus’ lawyer asked for.
“I did let down the city; I let down the youth,” he told the court but maintains he worked hard for all of his accomplishments. “I worked hard for that.”
U.S. District Judge Richard Bennett couldn’t go light on the sentence because others might feel it could be worth it to scam for $4 million with just a year in prison being their worst-case scenario.
“You can be the role model you were before, in a different capacity,” Bennett added.