A Savannah rapper could face up to nearly three decades in federal prison after admitting he fraudulently obtained funds intended for COVID-19 small business assistance and possessed illegal drugs and guns.
Brandon Lamar Williams, 30, also known as the rapper "Neighborhood Skilo" or "NH Skilo," awaits sentencing after pleading guilty to wire fraud and two counts of possession of marijuana.
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Williams' guilty plea subjects him to a statutory penalty of up to 26 years in prison, and because he has prior felony drug convictions, he faces a mandatory minimum of 90 days in prison in addition to substantial financial penalties and restitution, followed by up to three years of supervised release upon completion of any prison term. There is no parole in the federal system.
The indictment, according to the U.S. Department of Justice, alleges Williams "filed materially false applications and requests for PPP funds, which he was not entitled to receive, totaling more than $41,000."
After Williams filed two Small Business Association applications in early- and late-May 2021 - both of which falsely stated he was the sole proprietor of a trucking business - the SBA loan company approved the PPP applications and each deposited $20,761 into his bank account.
Three months later, in early August 2021, Williams was stopped by Savannah Police on a traffic violation that led to his being charged with marijuana possession and possession of firearms, namely a Jimenez, Model JA-380 auto pistol and a Smith & Wesson Model M&P Shield 9-mm pistol, which had been transported in interstate and foreign commerce.
Williams had two prior felony drug convictions for possession of cocaine base, a federal offense, and possession of a controlled substance, a local offense.
Sentencing is pending.
Drew Favakeh is the public safety reporter for Savannah Morning News. You can reach him at AFavakeh@savannahnow.com.
This article originally appeared on Savannah Morning News: Savannah rapper 'NH Skilo' faces up to 26 years in prison for COVID fraud