Houston rapper Willie D., a founder of seminal gangsta rap outfit The Gheto Boys, was recently arrested in Texas and slapped with Federal charges for a wire-fraud scam that allegedly found the rapper selling people iPhones and other electronics that didn't actually exist. If I didn't' know better, I'd think my mind was playing tricks on me.
According to reports, the rapper posed as an electronics salesman, and used eBay to establish his credibility with international buyers. He then conducted sales through email, got his payment via electronic transfer, and then didn't send the merchandise he promised. I can't decide if this scheme is gangsta or kind of embarrassing. A burned buyer eventually contacted law enforcement, leading to the federal charges against Mr. D. Wire fraud carries a maximum punishment of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.
Fellow Gheto Boy Bushwick Bill was unavailable for comment on the situation at press time, but I imagine he'd say something like, "If you prefer online retailing, refrain from doing business with strangers through email to avoid fraud. Stick to reputable retailers!"