Imitation is said to be the sincerest form of flattery, but that isn’t always the case, especially if one is trying to impersonate someone for their own benefit.
According to the Department of Justice, 29-year-old Aaron Barnes-Burpo pleaded “guilty to Conspiracy to Commit ”Wire Fraud” after he impersonated himself as an artist or a member of the Wu-Tang Clan.
As stated by the Court documents, Barnes-Burpo allegedly worked with his partner, 52-year-old Walker Washington as a means to defraud businesses. They were said to have told unsuspecting victims that they were “affiliated with the Roc Nation production company and the hip-hop group Wu-Tang Clan.”
It was stated that Barnes-Burpo and Washington also used stolen credit cards to rent limousines while carrying on their fraudulent activities. They were said to have scammed thousands of dollars.
Chris Hacker, Special Agent in Charge of FBI Atlanta had this to say:
Hopefully, some of the businesses that were defrauded by this scam will be able to recoup some of their losses as a result of this sentence. This is what happens when you seek a fleeting moment of fame at the expense of others. Neither law enforcement nor the community will tolerate it.”
Barnes-Burpo was sentenced to 7 years in prison and has been “ordered to pay nearly $300,000 to 19 business defrauded in the scheme.” He is also scheduled to undergo a mandatory “three years of supervised release.” Washington is still awaiting trial.
Hopefully next time they will know better than to scam innocent people out of their hard-earned money.