Chiraq rapper Bandman Kevo is expected to plead guilty in a card-cracking scheme that earned him and others hundreds of thousands of dollars, according to the Chicago Tribune.
The bank fraud scheme stretched from Illinois to Indiana and generated about $639,746, according to the NWI Times.
Kevo, born Kevin Ford, 27, and Cortez Stevens, 25, will both plead guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, according to plea agreements filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court in Hammond, IN. The two associates face up to 30 years in prison.
Cracking cards reportedly involves scammers placing stolen or counterfeit checks in bank accounts belonging to other people. Scammers then borrow the cardholder’s debit card and PIN number to withdraw money from the account before the bank learns the check is fake.
Federal officials say the group would reel in cash-strapped people through social media, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Kevo and Stevens forfeited a 2004 Audi and a 2006 Maserati to the federal government in order to pay $141,919 in restitution.
Kevo’s alleged scheme afforded him a $4,000-a-month high-rise condo in the Loop, according to the Tribune.
Kevo was a burgeoning Hip Hop artist collaborating with some of the genre’s hottest artists that included King Louie, Chief Keef and Soulja Boy.
Hip Hop is linked to popularizing “cracking cards.”
One of the artists in the genre accused of promoting the illegal act is none other Chief Keef.
Chief Keef glorifies the illegal scheme in song “Ballin,” rapping, “I’m ballin, I’m ballin/I be countin them stack/Crackin cards, get back, I gets me a big check.”
Federal authorities say cracking cards have roots on the South Side of Chicago, according to the Chicago Sun Times.
“The origin of [cracking cards] was Chicago, but now there is activity in Seattle, New York and other cities,” assistant postal inspector Victor Demtshenko told the Sun Times.