6:58 PMMIAMI RAPPER BRISCO SENTENCED IN COUNTERFEIT MONEY, ID THEFT, & FRAUD CASE
MIAMI RAPPER BRISCO SENTENCED IN COUNTERFEIT MONEY, ID THEFT, & FRAUD CASE
Before rap artist Brisco was sentenced to more than four years in federal prison on Wednesday for selling fake money, stealing identities and committing fraud, a judge got to hear about the many sides of his personality.
Brisco, whose real name is British Mitchell, has been locked up since he was arrested in December in Broward County after spending several months on the lam. Investigators said he previously escaped after leading them on two chases in one day in August.
He’s a talented musician, a dedicated father to two sons and a committed volunteer with a track record of helping young people in his community, supporters said. But he’s also a self-confessed criminal with a history of drug abuse who chose to get involved in two serious frauds, the defense acknowledged.
In court, prosecutors played a recorded phone call of Mitchell pretending to be one of the identity fraud victims – who just happens to be a judge – during a phone call from the fraud-detection department of one of the affected banks.
Mitchell, who appeared to be affecting an older voice, assured the bank employee that everything was fine and the fraudulent transaction should be approved. It’s unclear whether he knew that the victim, Michael Amendola, is an administrative law judge who handles social security disability cases.
Mitchell, 34, wore beige jail scrubs and was handcuffed and shackled for the sentencing hearing in federal court in Miami.
In February, he admitted he had tried to sell more than $150,000 worth of counterfeit cash, including several thousand dollars he sold to an undercover law enforcement officer.
Mitchell also admitted he was part of a fraud ring that operated at home-improvement stores in Broward and Miami-Dade counties. He was linked to an estimated $200,000 worth of fraud, investigators said.
Mitchell, who was featured on Lil’ Wayne’s 2009 Grammy Award-winning album “Tha Carter III,” has also performed and recorded with Rick Ross and DJ Khaled.
Rapper Brisco arrested on fraud and fake money charges after months on the lam, feds say
Speaking very politely, he said the last several months in the Federal Detention Center in downtown Miami have been “humbling.”
He apologized to everyone affected and was most emotional when he spoke about his sons, who are 7 and 13.
His eldest son tried to ask for mercy for his father in court but became so emotional that he was unable to speak. He stood at the podium for several minutes, wiping away tears and trying to get the words out before another family member spoke for him.
Mitchell took off his large gold-framed glasses and wiped away tears as he witnessed the effect his crimes have had on his son.
Mitchell came under scrutiny by the feds after a “source” told investigators that Mitchell wanted to purchase a particular type of genuine $5 bills, which are often bleached and used to create counterfeit money with a higher face value, court records show.
Mitchell was then introduced to an undercover officer who purchased counterfeit bills from him. In one text he sent the officer, he wrote: “If you wanna buy more, I can give you a crazy deal on it.”
Mitchell and several friends also admitted they were involved in an identity theft and credit card fraud ring that targeted local home-improvement stores and banks between November 2015 and August 2016.
They admitted they fraudulently purchased items, including stoves and refrigerators, which they later sold to contractors at reduced prices, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Karen Stewart.
Mitchell was recorded on audio and video committing some of the offenses. He called some of the banks and complained when fraudulent transactions were rejected. Security cameras also recorded footage of him committing some of the offenses at the stores, according to court records.
His attorney Scott Rubinchik said he has vowed to use his musical skills to repay what he owes the victims. That amount of restitution will be decided by the judge at a later date.
The U.S. Secret Service, which investigates counterfeiting cases, said that when two different law enforcement agencies tried to arrest Mitchell on Aug. 23, he led them on high-speed chases just hours apart in Broward and Miami-Dade. One reached speeds of approximately 100 mph and both chases were abandoned because of the potential danger, authorities said.
Agents eventually tracked Mitchell down and arrested him in December after another performer posted on social media that he would be making a guest appearance to sing at The Playhouse Gentlemen’s Club, a Hallandale Beach strip club.
Mitchell was on probation for state offenses, including possession of the drug ecstasy, at the time he committed the new federal crimes, prosecutors said.
Judge Bloom told Mitchell it was “very difficult” to impose a prison term while his son was in the courtroom.
“But in the end, sir, the acts you committed are serious offenses … These are real identities that you used,” she said.
Bloom said she gave him credit for admitting his crimes, for his community volunteer work and for requesting drug abuse treatment in prison. But she said a prison term of four years and three months was the appropriate punishment.
Mitchell nodded in apparent acceptance when he learned his fate. When the judge wished him good luck, he replied: “Thank you so much.”
Source: Sun Sentinel
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