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A person waits outside a closed office of California's Employment Development Department. Photo: Brian van der Brug/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

Fraud in California's Employment Development Department (EDD) was so rampant and seemingly easy to exploit that one Los Angeles rapper was arrested recently after making a song and video about doing it.

What's happening: In a historic example of snitching on oneself in an effort to clout chase, rapper Fontrell Antonio Baines, aka Nuke Bizzle, describes how easy it is to get "rich off of EDD" in a music video posted to YouTube titled "EDD."

  • He was arrested last month in Las Vegas and prosecutors say he used stolen identities to file for $1.2 million in benefits through at least 92 debit cards that had been pre-loaded with fraudulently obtained benefits and mailed to different addresses.
  • More than $704,000 of these benefits were accessed through cash withdrawals, per the Daily Mail.

In a separate incident, Beverly Hills police arrested 44 people and confiscated 129 fraudulently obtained debit cards potentially worth more than $2.5 million in benefits issued by the state, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Yes, but: Even after the two-week pause, there is still a massive backlog of unemployment claims unprocessed in the state and its estimated 1.2 million claims won't be paid until late January.

Go deeper

New state unemployment filings fall to 787,000

Photo: Joe Raedle/Getty Images

First-time applications for unemployment fell last week, according to Department of Labor data released on Thursday.

Between the lines: The overall number of Americans relying on unemployment also fell to a still-staggering 23 million. But there are continued signs of labor market strain, with more people shifting to an unemployment program designed for the long-term jobless.

Pakistan PM will "absolutely not" allow CIA to use bases for Afghanistan operations

Pakistan will "absolutely not" allow the U.S. Central Intelligence Agency to use bases on its soil for cross-border counterterrorism missions after American forces withdraw from Afghanistan, Prime Minister Imran Khan tells "Axios on HBO" in a wide-ranging interview airing Sunday at 6 pm ET.

Why it matters: The quality of counterterrorism and intelligence capabilities in Afghanistan is a critical question facing the Biden administration as U.S. forces move closer to total withdrawal by Sept. 11.