The rapper stole over $4 million, most of which went towards his music "career."
Chad Arrington, a.k.a. Chad Focus, has gained notoriety recently—but certainly not in the way that he had once hoped. The Randallstown resident was sentenced Wednesday to Wire Fraud Conspiracy charges and will be spending 30 months in federal prison. This comes after 12 months of home confinement after his guilty plea in 2020.
Arrington admitted to using a company credit from his day job to fund his dreams of becoming a hip-hop superstar. Over $4.1 million worth of charges were made from at least 2015-2018 to create the illusion that Chad Focus was the "No. 1 recording artist in the world". According to a statement from the District of Maryland U.S. Attorney's office, the funds were used for sound equipment, studio kits, instruments, and other technology and put to use by Focus Music Entertainment LLC, a business Arrington created to produce a number of singles.
The funds were also used to pad the business' online presence. Song play counts on music platforms, likes, views, and followers were all bought. Arrington even had a number of physical billboards set up across the country—one in Times Square welcoming himself to New York—to further enhance the facade. Then, of course, there was the lavish lifestyle that is associated with being a Rap Mogul. Jewelry, international and national travel, hotels, nightlife, and even Chad Focus clothing.
Arrington was employed by Money Map Press, a branch of Baltimore's publishing network Agora Inc. where he worked as a Search Engine Optimization Specialist. As such, he was given the company's American Express card to use towards promoting and marketing products and enhancing the company's online presence. Instead, he attempted his own startups such as a bike-sharing business and the music production company. Four other co-conspirators were involved in the scheme, two of whom made false entries on the billing statements. Arrington himself forged his supervisor's signature to 'approve' the spending. As a result of this, ten employees had to take a cut in pay in order to cover the loss of funds.
The FBI aided in the investigation and in February of last year, Arrington pleaded guilty to the charges. As part of his plea agreement, Judge Richard D. Bennett declared that the over $4 million he had stolen must be paid back in restitution, along with serving the last two and a half years of his sentence in federal prison.
Had you heard of Chad Focus before all of this came to light? Seen the billboards? Do you own any Focus swag? Let us know in the comments!