A Florida man has been sentenced for fraud after claiming to be a member of Wu-Tang Clan and scamming hotels out of thousands.
According to the DOJ, Aaron Barnes-Burpo, 29, of Crestview, Florida, was also ordered to pay nearly $300,000 in restitution to 19 businesses and to serve three years supervised release after his prison term, according to online court records. He earlier pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Barnes-Burpo’s co-defendant, Walker Washington, 52, of Augusta, is yet to be sentenced in the case, but has also pleaded guilty to Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud.
“For several weeks, these men defrauded multiple businesses by posing as famous musical artists and their retinue,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Estes. “Thanks to an alert hotel clerk, their phony hit parade came to an abrupt halt.”
Barnes-Burpo and Washington admitted that they presented themselves as affiliated with Roc Nation production company and Wu-Tang Clan as early as September 2019. According to testimony and court docs, they used those fake personas, as well as fraudulent and stolen credit cards, to rent luxury limousines and defraud hotels, caterers and production studios of thousands of dollars in goods and services mostly in cities around the Southeast.
It was staff at the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Augusta, GA who became suspicious and alerted the FBI and the Richmond County Sheriff’s Office on November 19 of last year.