Chance The Rapper can now breathe a sigh of relief as a man who posed as an employee of his charity has been arrested and faces multiple felony charges.
According to CBS ChicagoDemarco Franklin, 35, was arrested on Tuesday (January 3) after defrauding two women out of at least $70,000 in a scheme that started last January.
Clufunsho Aboyade-Cole (who goes by the name Lulu Cole) was contacted by a man calling himself Jeffrey Washington and claiming to work for Chance The Rapper’s non-profit, SocialWorks. The man convinced Cole that he had paid her cell phone bill and mortgage worth $44,803.13 by January 25, 2022, and even sent confirmations.
Believing the funds were coming from SocialWorks and the Community and Economic Development Association (CEDA) of Cook County, the woman’s sister Ibiyanka “Ibi” Aboyade-Cole also approached Washington and received $100,000 in assistance.
The sisters eventually gave Demarco Franklin $70,000 in cash as a donation to further the work he was doing through Chance’s charity. However, Lulu Cole was soon contacted by her bank to tell her that her mortgage payments could not be processed.
When she was alerted that there were problems with the funds she thought she had received, Lulu Cole gave the Chicago Police Department a photo she had taken of the man during their first meeting, which led to the arrest.
Demarco Franklin has several prior felony convictions for running similar scams. Authorities believe there may be more victims who were also defrauded during his latest run.
Ibi Cole told CBS Chicago that she believes that the banks should also bear a certain responsibility. “I would certainly love to see banks improve and increase their protection of their consumers,” she said.
According to the organization’s website, SocialWorks’ programming focuses on education, mental health, homelessness, and the performing and literary arts. It works toward these goals through several initiatives, including OpenMike, Warmest Winter, Kids of the Kingdom, The New Chance: Arts & Literature Fund, and My State of Mind.
Chance The Rapper finished the year in Ghana, before his Black Star Line Festivalwhich he launched with another Chicago native Vic Mensa. The festival is set to take place on Friday (January 6) and will include performances from Erykah Badu, T-PainVic Mensa, Jeremiah, Tobe Nwigwe, Sarkodie, M.anifest and Asakaa Boys.
“I was inspired by Marcus Garvey in the early 1900s, 1919 to actually 1922, so 100 years ago now,” Chance said of the new project in a recent interview with Sway in the morning. “He started and ran this very important, integrated shipping company. He had a fleet of ships, these giant ocean liners that are the size of cruise ships, that he owned and financed with ordinary black people’s money.
“But what he did with it was he created a trade route between the United States, all the black islands and the African continent, and it created a network of people where people from all over the world were connected and worked with each other. and took trips together and created this connection that didn’t exist before.”
This connection was known as the “Black Star Line”, hence the name of the festival. Chance is also preparing the release of Star Line Galleryhis first full-length project in four years.