Local Soundcloud rapper John Corbin Corona has been charged with wire fraud and money laundering related to a scheme to take advantage of a pandemic-era relief program.
John Corbin Corona grew up in the Park Cities and began recording hip-hop music about a decade ago. When D Magazine associate editor Bradford Pearson (now an author and magazine editor in Philadelphia) came across a song in 2013, he wrote a blog having a laugh at the local artist.
Corona then challenged Pearson to interview him in person before he passed any judgment, and Pearson accepted the invitation. He met Corona at his parents’ 7,600 square-foot house in North Dallas, where he sat down with Corona, his brother Adam, and two photographers who were documenting the interview. After the interview, he met Corona’s parents. (Corona’s dad said Pearson’s piece read like an SMU intern wrote it).
The interview is wild, though both sides kept things civil. Corona discussed his influences, his mentors, how he grew up, traveling to Laos, and more.
“I like doing rap. I can make you rap music all day. Also man, there’s there’s a wider demographic out there and that little pop song, for every one person who hates it five people are going to love it. I don’t really care. It’s good though, just keep it coming. There’s always gonna be a lot of hate, but there’s there’s always gonna be a lot of love. That’s how the universe works man, and it’s it’s great.”
You can read the full interview here.
More recently, the hip-hop artist moved into the cryptocurrency world and stands accused of orchestrating a scheme to defraud a pandemic-era financial program out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.
The feds say Corona founded a cryptocurrency company that operated an alleged bitcoin-pooled investment fund called Bitcoin Bank America. The indictment says he fraudulently applied for two Paycheck Protection Program loans totaling over $413,000. The program was designed to help businesses that lost revenue during the pandemic.
Corona allegedly inflated his company’s payroll, lied about the number of employees in the PPP applications, and submitted tax returns containing false information about the business. The indictment says that Corona transferred a portion of the loan to a cryptocurrency exchange platform.
If convicted, he faces up to 20 years in prison for wire fraud and 10 for money laundering. He will also have to forfeit any money gained through the scheme.
You can listen to Corona’s music on Soundcloud here.