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A former USC football player was arrested Monday and charged with defrauding California state's Covid-19 relief benefits.

Abdul-Malik MClain, a linebacker for Jackson State University, was charged with mail fraud and identity theft in a scheme to steal over $900,000 in COVID-related unemployment benefits.

McClain is accused of assisting a group of USC football players in filing fraudulent unemployment claims under the Pandemic Unemployment Assistant (PUA) program.

McClain is accused of helping the players fill out the application using information he knew to be false about their prior and future employment status.

California's Employment Development Department (EDD) authorized Bank of America to mail debit cards to McClain and other football players who then used the cards to withdraw cash at ATM machines.

The fraudulent applications sought more than $900,000 in unemployment benefits, but ultimately netted at least $227,736.

McClain allegedly sought and received a fee for his services from the players.

The crimes were committed from July 2020 to September 2020 while McClain was a student at USC.

McClain transferred to JSU in 2020 after his brother was suspended by USC for approaching students with a scheme to defraud EDD.

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Update 2: Jussie Smollett has been found guilty on the first 5 counts and not guilty on the 6th count. He was charged with 6 felony counts of lying to police.

He faces 15 years in prison on the first 5 counts. He could also be sentenced to probation.

Update 1: Jussie Smollett just arrived to a Chicago courthouse to hear the verdict in his hate crime hoax case.

On Wednesday, Judge James Linn told Smollett and his attorneys to be in the courtroom within 30 minutes of the announcement that a verdict has been reached.

That was over an hour ago.
 
Orginally posted on Dec. 9:

After 2 days of deliberations, the jury has reached a unanimous verdict in the Jussie Smollett hate crime hoax trial.

If found guilty, Smollett, 39, could be sentenced to a maximum of 18 years in prison or probation.

During the trial, a smug Smollett testified there was no hoax and he really was assaulted by a man who had intimate relations with him.

Smollett also exposed his former pal, CNN anchor Don Lemon who told him the Chicago police didn't believe his story.

Lemon didn't disclose that to his viewers, but he did say he was in close contact with Smollett in the days before his arrest.

Smollett was charged with six counts of lying to police, saying he was assaulted by two white supremacists. He claimed the white supremacists yelled "This is MAGA country," tied a noose around his neck and poured bleach on him.

Nigerian brothers Olabinjo and Abimbola "Abel" OSundairo told police Smollett paid them $3,500 to gently assault him.

Prosecutors say Smollett orchestrated a homophobic, racist attack against himself to raise his profile in the TV and movie industry.

Even before the verdict was reached on Thursday, Smollett was shopping projects around and found financing for a TV project starring himself.

Black Lives Matter expressed support for the openly gay actor. A BLM spokesperson said: "We can never believe police, especially the Chicago Police Department over Jussie Smollett, a Black man who has been courageously present, visible, and vocal in the struggle for Black freedom."

Twitter users expressed skepticism.

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A jury has begun deliberations in the Jussie Smollett hate crime hoax case in Chicago. Smollett, 39, faces six counts of lying to police after orchestrating a homophobic, racist attack against himself in January 2019.

In closing arguments on Wednesday, defense attorney Nenye Uche attempted to discredit Smollett's co-conspirators, Olabinjo and Abimbola "Abel" Osundairo who say the former Empire actor paid them $3,500 to gently assault him, tie a noose around his neck and pour bleach on him.

On his second day on the witness stand, Smollett claimed he has never staged a hoax in his entire life.

He said allegations that he staged the attack were "100 percent false."

"What happened to me happened," he said.

But prosecutors say Smollett is a narcissist who orchestrated the attack in order to raise his profile on the canceled ABC TV series and on the big screen.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Smollett is so confident he will be acquitted that he is already shopping movie and TV projects.

THR reports Smollett has found financing for a proposed TV series and a film.

The disgraced actor is shopping an untitled series pilot that he stars in and directed. It is described as a follow-up project to B-Boy Blues in New York and Los Angeles.

Cleveland radio and TV station owner Tom Wilson financed the project because he believes in Smollett's innocence.

Wilson is counting on the jury to acquit Smollett so the project can find a buyer.

"We just want the right verdict," says Wilson, "so we can get on with making projects that allow minorities, Blacks and gays the opportunity to show their artistry."

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A manhunt is underway for a former NFL player who brutally attacked his ex-girlfriend in a viral video.

Zac Stacy is wanted on felony charges of assaulting Kristin Evans, the mother of his 5-month-old son.

According to docs obtained by TMZ Sports, Stacy is facing felony aggravated battery and criminal mischief charges.

Stacy faces up to 15 years behind bars if convicted on the aggravated battery charge and 5 years in prison on the criminal mischief charge.

The former running back is currently still at large. Evans believes his friends are hiding him in the Nashville area.

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Getty Images, Twitter

In a video on Thursday, Evans said:

"I don't know why his friends are hiding him. If you see him -- he drives a white Kia Optima, a 2020 I believe or a 2021. Please, again, if you see him or you know of any location that he might be, please turn him in or call your local authorities."

Evans said police in Oakland, Florida, where she lives, ignored her pleas to arrest Stacy. Their slow response enabled him to flee the state of Florida.

However, police officials tell TMZ officers responded to the domestic violence call "within two minutes" of Stacy's attack last Saturday.

Meanwhile, TMZ reports Stacy has been dropped from his role as a youth football ambassador for the Music City Bowl this year.

Stacy, 30, is a former running back for the NY Jets and St. Louis Rams.

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Atlanta PD

A man has turned himself in to Atlanta police days after a woman fell from a Lamborghini he was driving and died from her head injuries.

Alfred Megbuluba, 31, is charged with felony murder, theft by taking, financial transaction card fraud and financial transaction card theft, Fox 5 Atlanta reported.

Megbuluba was accused of stealing Catherine Khan's purse at the Buckhead restaurant where she worked as a bartender on the night of October 11.

Khan was seen in a cell phone video yelling that Megbuluba stole her wallet, identification, and a debit card.

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Instagram.com

Khan's family said the wallet was a precious family heirloom because it belonged to her late grandmother.

Moments later, Khan fell from the Lamborghini at the intersection of Peachtree and Piedmont roads.

She was transported to Grady Memorial Hospital in downtown Atlanta where she was pronounced dead.

Megbuluba was booked in to the Fulton County Jail where he is being held without bond.
 

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Rochester Mayor Lovely A. Warren has agreed to resign as part of a plea deal to avoid a lengthy prison term for campaign finance violations.

Warren agreed to resign on the day her criminal trial started in Rochester, NY.

The disgraced Democratic mayor was indicted in 2020 on charges she violated campaign finance rules during her 2017 reelection campaign.

Warren was scheduled to go on trial Monday, Oct. 4, on felony charges that she and two assistants tried to circumvent contribution limits.

Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

Warren and her two co-defendants each pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of accepting campaign contributions that exceeded legal limits, according to the Monroe County district attorney's office.

Warren's resignation will be effective on December 1, 2021.

Warren slammed authorities after her husband was arrested on drug trafficking charges in May.

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Facebook

Timothy Granison, 43, was arrested during a raid of the couple's Rochester home as part of a months long drug trafficking sting.

Warren lashed out at police for the "highly suspicious" timing of her husband's arrest -- coming on the heels of her own legal troubles.

She insisted she and her husband were being targeted because they are Black.

AFP via Getty Images

R. Kelly has been found guilty of sexually abusing women, boys, and girls in a Brooklyn courtroom on Monday.

Kelly was found guilty on nine counts of RICO violations, as well as transporting minor females across state lines for sex, on Monday.

The jury of seven men and five women deliberated for nine hours before returning their verdicts on the evidence against the singer.

Testimony of accusers and prosecution witnesses closed out the month-long trial in Brooklyn, New York.

Pool via Getty Images

During the proceedings, prosecutors told jurors that Kelly used a network of friends and employees to secretly transport minors and women across state lines and control their actions.

Many of the witnesses who took the stand during the trial claimed Kelly had kidnapped them and restricted what and when they could eat. They also claimed he controlled when they could take bathroom breaks.

Kelly's attorneys attempted to discredit the accusers as groupies who who were willing to be used and controlled.

The defense claimed the victims had concocted tall tales about the singer after he refused their advances.

Pool via Getty Images

One of his alleged victims claimed she witnessed the singer performing oral sex on teenage R&B singer Aaliyah, who Kelly illegally wed in a Chicago hotel room in 1994 - when she was only 15.

A former tour manager for Kelly also testified that he bribed a welfare office employee to make a fake ID for Aaliyah, which listed her age as 18.

Fred Duval/FilmMagic

Prosecutors claimed Kelly married Aaliyah in a bid to avoid criminal charges for having sex with a minor. Their marriage was later annulled.

Kelly did not take the stand to testify in his own defense during the trial.

Kelly also faces criminal charges in separate cases from state prosecutors in Minnesota and federal prosecutors in Illinois.

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Alcoholic Beverage Control

A bar owner in California was busted for selling fake vaccination cards to undercover agents for $20 apiece, ABC News reports.

Agents from the California Department of Alcoholic Beverage Control arrested Todd Anderson, 59, for making and selling fraudulent Covid-19 vaccination cards.

Anderson is the owner of the Old Corner Saloon in Clements, California. The department launched an investigation after receiving a tip that Anderson was selling fake vaccination cards out of his bar.

Undercover agents purchased 8 vaccination cards from Anderson for $20 each "on multiple occasions in April."

A laminating machine and 30 blank cards were confiscated from the bar. It's unclear how many fake cards sold to the public.

The Alcoholic Beverage Control agency released images of some of the confiscated cards.

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Alcoholic Beverage Control

"It is disheartening to have members in our community show flagrant disregard for public health in the midst of a pandemic," San Joaquin County District Attorney Tori Verber Salazar said in a statement on Wednesday. "Distributing, falsifying or purchasing fake COVID-19 vaccine cards is against the law and endangers yourself and those around you."

The FBI issued a stern warning in March for anyone caught selling fraudulent vaccination cards.

"By misrepresenting yourself as vaccinated when entering schools, mass transit, workplaces, gyms or places of worship you put yourself and others around you at risk of contracting COVID-19," the FBI said in a statement.

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Instagram

Iyanna "Yaya" Mayweather reacted to the news that her baby daddy, NBA YoungBoy is in federal custody in Los Angeles.

Yaya is the mother of YoungBoy's youngest child. He has 7 children by various women, with an eighth baby rumored to be on the way.

The distraught single mom took to her Instagram Story to call for her baby daddy's freedom.

"My day has been ruined [sad face emoji, broken heart emoji]," wrote Yaya, the daughter of champion boxer Floyd Mayweather. In a follow-up post, she added, "#FREEKENTRELL."

The 21-year-old rapper, whose moniker means Never Broke Again YoungBoy, was taken into custody on Monday by the LAPD after they pulled over a vehicle he was in, TMZ reported. Cops unleashed a K9 officer to sniff him out when he fled on foot.

An unregistered firearm was recovered in the vehicle.

YoungBoy, real name Kentrell Gaulden, is now in the custody of the FBI, who recently formed a task force to lock up violent gang members masquerading as rappers.

Also on their list is Atlanta gangbanger YFN Lucci and Chicago gangbanger-turned-rapper Lil Durk, who currently resides in Atlanta.

YoungBoy has been arrested multiple times in the past -- mostly on drugs and firearms charges, as well as probation violations.

His most recent arrest was for drugs and weapons possession in his native Baton Rouge, Louisiana in September.
 

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Family handout

Authorities in North Carolina have charged a couple with the murder of a missing pregnant mother of two, whose body was found stuffed in a suitcase on Monday.

Brittany Samone Smith, 28, was reported missing on Feb. 5. She was last seen alive on February 4, according to the Wake County Sheriff's Office.

Her body was found stuffed inside a suitcase near the shoreline of the Neuse River, in Raleigh, according to a statement from the sheriff's office.

Her cause of death is strangulation. A motive for her murder was not disclosed.

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Wake County Sheriff's Office

Authorities arrested Thomas Clayton Johnson, 37, and Emmalei Grace Trevathan, 24, during a traffic stop in Wake County on Wednesday.

Investigators did not reveal the information that led them to the suspects.

Johnson and Trevathan are being held without bond on charges of murder, murder of an unborn child, and concealment of a body.