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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.
Kobe Bryant's widow, Vanessa Bryant, is not ready to be an empty nester. The single mom-of-four cried while dropping off her eldest daughter, Natalia Bryant, at the University of Southern California.
The 39-year-old homemaker posted a smiling selfie with Natalia, 18, and her youngest daughters, 4-year-old Bianka and 2-year-old Capri.
But Vanessa's heart was breaking behind her big smile. "Today was rough. This was before the tears came down," she captioned the photo.
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She added a message to her late husband, Kobe, and their daughter, Gianna, who tragically died with him in a helicopter crash last year.
"Missing [two fingers] forever. I love you @nataliabryant BE EPIC and FIGHT ON. [heart emojis]."
Natalia responded to her mom in the comments, writing, "I love you!!!"
Vanessa limited the comments under the post. But her VIP followers showed their support for Vanessa and Natalia.
Gabriel Union wrote: "We will all be [eyeball emojis] with @nataliabryant in LA #FamilyOverEverything."
Fashion blogger Yvette Mandell wrote: "Wishing Natalia a wonderful year!! So exciting but so hard for mama I know."
And lifestyle blogger Lyndi Kennedy wrote: "I can't imagine, I'm so sorry pretty mama!!!! U and the girls are always in my prayers!!!!!!"
Proud mom Vanessa Bryant is celebrating her daughter Natalia Bryant getting accepted into the University of Southern California (USC) on Tuesday.
The 18-year-old is seen jumping up and down in a video shared on her mom's Instagram page.
In the video, Natalia, wearing a USC top, shouts: "I got in!"
'Nessa captioned the clip:
"Tears of joy. I'm SO happy for you Nani! I know daddy is so PROUD OF YOU. I am so PROUD OF YOU!! Your hard work and dedication was so worth it. You pushed through the most excruciating pain imaginable and you succeeded. I wish Daddy and Gigi were physically here to celebrate but I know they’re here in spirit. We love you so much! #USC #Trojan #FightOn."
Natalia is one of NBA legend Kobe Bryant's four daughters. The former Lakers star and his 13-year-old daughter, Gianna, tragically died in a helicopter crash in January 2020.
Vanessa Bryant was left behind to raise their minor children, Bianka, 4, and 20-month-old Capri, by herself.
She said Kobe and Gianna inspire her to keep going every day.
"I guess the best way to describe it is that Kobe and Gigi motivate me to keep going," she said previously. "They inspire me to try harder and be better every day. Their love is unconditional and they motivate me in so many different ways."
Dr. Dre's daughter Truly Young once complained that he was forcing her to attend the University of Southern California. On Sunday, the legendary music producer deleted an Instagram post bragging that his daughter was accepted to USC on her academic merits.
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Dr. Dre sparked controversy on social media when he bragged that his college age daughter got into the University of Southern California "on her own" merits - and not because he once donated a whopping $70 million to construct a new building on the USC campus.
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