Kafani, a Bay Area rapper who gained notoriety beyond music after he was shot on a music video set and paralyzed, is accused of being the leader of a loan fraud ring. Federal prosecutors say that Kafani and crew allegedly pilfered millions from victims across California.
Local publication The Mercury News reports that Kafani, real name Amir Rashad, has been named as the lead defendant in a federal wire fraud matter along with three other individuals. According to prosecutors, Kafani, Susan Arreola-Martin, Christopher Pool, and Tyrone Jones concocted a scheme of stealing the identity of others and using the information to open bank and email accounts under the victims’ names.
The complaint from the FBI says that the suspects used the stolen identities to file for a refinance loan and used the homes of the victims as collateral. Kafani responded to the charges he’s facing via Instagram Live and called the charges false in so many words. He also said that a former romantic partner tipped off the FBI which sparked an investigation into his alleged crimes.
Thus far, seven people have been allegedly targeted by Kafani and the co-defendants. The victims told the FBI that loans or purchases made in their names that they didn’t enact showed up on their radar. Another victim told authorities that a $325,000 loan was taken out under their name. In another instance, one of the defendants allegedly used stolen identification information to gain hold of a gold bar worth around $1 million. A sting operation set up by the FBI led them to connect Tyrone Jones to the crime, who was driving a vehicle registered to Kafani’s brother.
Kafani made headlines in 2013 when he was shot and paralyzed but made a remarkable recovery with the help of an experimental robotic exoskeleton and got healthy enough to train for a marathon run. This isn’t Kafani’s first run-in with wire fraud, this after previously serving 39 months for a 2015 conspiracy case.