From Ballin' to Bawlin': Bandman Kevo Charged With Bank Fraud

Chicago rapper Kevin "Bandman Kevo" Ford wanted international acclaim for his music; Now, he is a household name connected to alleged bank fraud. 

According to NWI Times reporter Sarah Reese, Ford was among 29 defendants charged in what authorities have called a "card-cracking" scheme. On Wednesday, the feds released an official criminal complaint featuring allegations of Ford and his counterparts using social media to carry out the scheme. 

'Crack Cards or Starve': A New Culture of Crime

For the past 3 years, social media users have seen familiar messages from devious people participating in "card cracking." Card cracking schemes involve the recruiters collecting debit cards and PIN numbers from banking customers in order to deposit fake checks. When the banks notice the checks are bad, the customer is left "on the hook."

College students are common targets, experts say. Many students have been approached in public settings like nightclubs-- not just social media. In those environments, scam artists have been more persuasive and persistent to get their targets to hand over bank cards.

Some have argued that rap music has introduced teens and college students to card-cracking. From Chief Keef to Dreezy, a growing number of rap songs feature lyrics about "cracking cards because it's stack or starve." 

If convicted, Bandman Kevo is going to be stacking laundry in federal prison and starving for freedom.

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