BROOKLYN, NY — Brooklyn gang members busted for stealing COVID unemployment money this week released a music video bragging about their $24 million scheme, according to prosecutors.
“It was me and Porter, we was huggin’ the block,” sang Woo gang members in a “Trappin” video, referring to one of the leaders’ nicknames.”Unemployment got us workin’ a lot.”
The music video, uploaded to YouTube last year, includes five of 11 gang members or associates who were charged this week in the scam, which unfolded from the early days of the pandemic up until October of 2021, according to prosecutors.
The gang members managed to rake in $4.3 million in unemployment benefits meant for those suffering during the coronavirus pandemic and tried to get another $20 million by stealing more than 800 identities of people across the country, prosecutors said.
Throughout the scheme, the men bragged about their money on social media, flashing gang signs and posing in front of luxury cars, prosecutors said.
“As alleged, the defendants conspired to steal millions of dollars in pandemic- related unemployment assistance and then brazenly flaunted the proceeds of their crimes on social media,” United States Attorney Breon Peace said.
“This Office and its law enforcement partners will vigorously prosecute gang members and anyone else who exploits the pandemic and steals from taxpayer-funded programs.”