Rapper Cavani in the Gulf region has been sentenced to 7 years in prison for involvement in identity theft

Court records show that the Bay Area rapper best known for his hits during the so-called Hyphy movement was sentenced to seven years and three months in federal prison.

Amir Rashad, who goes by the name Cavani and aka Mark Hicks, was sentenced on Tuesday by U.S. District Judge James Donato, months after Oakley’s 42-year-old Rashad pleaded guilty to conspiracy in a multimillion-dollar fraud and identity theft ring. . Rashad is the last of the six convicted defendants, and the seventh – who was not named by the authorities – is a fugitive.

Rashad’s sentence is the longest of any of the defendants, and authorities say he played a leading role in a scheme to file loan applications in the names of the unwilling wealthy. The money was often converted into gold bars and coins, and then sold for cash. Rashad’s lawyer wrote that another defendant was in fact the leader and that it would be “unreasonable” to portray Rashad as anything more than an ordinary participant.

“Because Mark Hicks is paralyzed from the chest down and is in a wheelchair, he is confined to the home and relies on others for everything. While Mark Hicks has used the Internet to obtain personal information about individuals, obtain credit reports on these individuals, and contact banks and pretend sellers That they were such individuals, Mark Hicks never left his bedroom to carry out the conspiracy acts, Edwin Prather, Rashad’s attorney, wrote in court records. “The conspirators completed the plot without Mark Hicks.”

Brother added that Rashad has a humble lifestyle, relies on a shepherd for basic needs rather than someone who “has the trappings of a lavish or criminal lifestyle.”

Authorities said most of the victims lived in California, including many in the Bay Area.

Rashad’s rap career began in the 1990s, but he rose to prominence in the Bay Area rap community during the early 2000s, when he released “Fast (Like a Nascar)” featuring Keak Da Sneak, a song that became a local hit and received airtime. the National. In 2013, while filming a music video in Auckland, Rashad was injured several times and paralyzed. He is confined to a wheelchair to this day.

Brother’s sentencing memo includes messages of support from Rashad’s family and other Bay Area recording artists, portraying him as a sympathetic man who tried to help children and others in need. Brother writes that Rashad participates in a Solano County program called “Hip-Hop with Disabilities.”

Cavani has always taken care of his family and always talks about how much he loves his children. Bay Area recording artist Keldamuzik wrote in one letter of support that, on holidays, he is always there to bring joy to them and always brings them to see his mother and other relatives. “His kids are everything to him and he has a second chance in life, he really wants to be there for him.”

In addition to Rashad, his brother and fellow rapper, DeMarcus “Smurf” Hicks, 37, of Stockton, was sentenced to four years in prison, according to the records. Another defendant, Susan Areola Martin, 72, received seven, but only because she was accused of supplying her granddaughter with fentanyl, who overdose and died, while she was out before trial, according to authorities.

As part of the plea agreement, Rashad admitted that he “directed a team of criminals who stole nearly $2 million from banks and lending institutions” just months after he was released from prison in 2017, prosecutors said in a press release. The leaders of the fraud scheme allegedly recruited homeless people, including Areola Martin, and gave them small percentages of the proceeds to present as victims of identity theft until loan applications were accepted.

One of the accused, Christopher Paul, was homeless and in a relationship with Areola Martin when they were recruited by people known to them as “The King” and “The Supreme”. Both were living in a tent in Stockton at the time, and were offered part of the procedure if they signed forged loan documents. Areola Martin was recruited because “we need a grandmother,” allegedly, Rashad told one of the other defendants.

Areola Martin met co-conspirators at Starbucks in El Cerrito and signed fraudulent $301,582 loan documents that ended up in a bank account controlled by Rashad, according to a prosecutor’s ruling note. “King” was later identified as Dionysius Costello, who sentenced Donato to four years and six months in federal prison. Supreme has not been publicly identified.

Court records show that Paul was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison.

Likewise, the other defendant, Liv Skorochod, was a homeless, severely addicted fentanyl, and was living on the streets of San Francisco when he was approached by the leaders of the fraud gang. He was eventually sentenced to 14 months and 15 days in prison.

Rashad, who is out of custody, must surrender to the authorities by October 17.

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