Fake concert promoters plead guilty to $1.35m fraud scheme

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Terronce Morris and Blake Kelly have pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft for their involvement in a music concert fraud scheme.

The two men fraudulently obtained around $1.35m (£1.06m/€1.25m) from a victim, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office in the Southern District of Florida.

They are said to have persuaded the victim to send them the money for the production of a music festival in Texas purportedly featuring acts such as Justin Bieber, Post Malone, and Billie Eilish.

Morris and Kelly created several false and fraudulent concert performance contracts forging the signatures of artists that they claimed would be appearing at the made-up festival. They also had an accomplice pose as Bieber to trick the victim into believing he had agreed to perform.

Relying on the fraudulent statements, the victim sent three wire transfers to Morris and mailed him a $200,000 check made payable to the artist which Morris deposited into his own account.

Morris and Kelly used the money to fund their own and their accomplices’ travel, purchase luxury goods, pay for luxury services, and eat at expensive restaurants.

Morris’ sentencing is set to take place on May 2 while Kelly’s is scheduled for March 28.

They both face up to 20 years in prison for the conspiracy charge, as well as an additional two years for the identity theft charge.