Scammers Faked Signatures Of Justin Bieber, Billie Eilish and Post Malone In $1.35M Bogus Concert Fraud

Scammers Faked Signatures Of Justin Bieber, Billie Eilish and Post Malone In $1.35M Bogus Concert Fraud
Cover Image Source: Singer Justin Bieber attends Super Bowl LVI | Getty Images | Photo by Kevin C. Cox

Two men who faked documents and signatures of famous pop artists to swindle over $1 million from a concert promoter will go to jail, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a release. Terrence Morris, 41, of Missouri City, pleaded guilty to conspiring with Blake Kell, 36, of Los Angeles, to impersonate stars like Justin Bieber, Billie Elish, and Post Malone. The two were the "masterminds" of a fake music concert scam and could face over 20 years in prison on wire fraud conspiracy and identity theft charges.


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According to court documents, the two conspirators fraudulently collected approximately $1.35 million between December 2019 and March 2020 from a concert promoter.

Morris and Kelly persuaded the victim to give them funds purportedly for the production of a music festival, featuring Justin Bieber, Post Malone, Billie Elish, and other prominent music recording artists.

The two conspirators created a façade with several false concert performance contracts with the artists. They forged the signatures of the music recording artists and created fake email accounts for the artists as well. Morris then used fake email accounts to pose as the recording artists and share the signed contracts with Kelly and himself.

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Furthermore, the two fraudsters arranged a video call with the victim to make the scam more believable. They got an accomplice to pose as Bieber and tricked the victim into believing that the artist had agreed to the performance.

Representative Image | Pexels | Photo by NEOSiAM  2024+
Image Source: Representative Image | Pexels | Photo by NEOSiAM 2024+

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Trusting the mounting fake documentation and fraudulent communication, the victim sent three wire transfers to Morris. The victim also sent him a $200,000 check payable to Bieber, which was later cashed in Morris' personal bank account.

According to the authorities, the two scammers spent the money on their lavish lifestyle. They paid for travel, luxury goods, luxurious services, and dined at expensive restaurants.

The FBI building | Getty Images | Photo by Joe Raedle
Image Source: The FBI building | Getty Images | Photo by Joe Raedle

Morris pleaded guilty on February 13, while Kelly had already pleaded guilty in January. They were charged with mail fraud, wire fraud, and aggravated identity theft in Miami federal court. Kelly is scheduled to be sentenced on March 28, and Morris will be presented in a Florida court on May 2.

"Mr. Bieber was saddened to learn about the circumstances alleged in the indictment that led to the guilty pleas and cooperated fully with federal law enforcement throughout the investigation," the pop star’s attorney Michael Rhodes told NBC News.

Image Source: GettyImages/Jason Merritt
Image Source: Getty Images | Photo by Jason Merritt

It’s been a while since the COVID-19 restrictions were lifted, and music festivals are in full swing across the globe. While fans of live entertainment have much to look forward to this summer, unfortunately, scams surrounding these events are also on the rise.

As seen in the recent fake ticket scam involving the Superbowl Event, these fraudulent schemes are often facilitated by fake websites. In the coming times, individuals must watch out for unauthentic tickets, fraudulent reselling of tickets, duplicate ticket sales, and more when it comes to attending major events.


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