A Texas woman is down $100k after being catfished by a man claiming to be Bruno Mars.
The 63 year old states that she “fell in love”, when a man posing as Mars slide into her DM’s in September of 2018. The woman, who has chosen to remain anonymous, told police that the two became quite close and that she believed it to be the real Mars, despite him not communicating from his official Instagram account.
She had initially created the instagram account in search of companionship, but i’m sure this is not what she was expecting. Either way she fell hard for the fake Mars, and in record time, with the whole affair taking place between September and October 2018.
The man was so convincing he had her send him two checks, one for $10k and one for $90k. The reason he needed the money? To cover tour expenses of course. More specifically, a “friend of the band’s tour expenses. Legal documents show the two checks, which she wrote just two days apart, were made out to ‘Chi Autos’, TMZ reports.
He then made promises to leave tour and come be with the Texas woman as soon as he could.
Well it turns out the checks were actually going to a man named Chinwendu Azuonwu, the catfish behind the fake Bruno Mars accounts. He appeared in court this week charged with third-degree felony money laundering in connection with scamming the Texas woman. The $90,000 was deposited in Azuonwu’s account, with local news reporting that an accomplice, Basil Amadi, was also charged with money laundering after the first $10,000 was found to be in his account.
Man allegedly posed as Bruno Mars on Instagram to strike up a romance with a woman and coax her out of $100,000 https://t.co/PoyFFZdapS— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) February 9, 2021
When police interviewed the two, Amadi confessed to knowing Azuonwu but denied knowing about the money. Azuonwu, on the other hand, flat out denied knowing Amadi or anything about the money. When they checked their accounts, they were able to identify the deposits.
Both men were charged with money laundering, though Amadi’s arrest record in the case was not immediately stated. Cops told local news outlets they believe these men may be low-level crooks working for scammers overseas — and are hoping they cooperate to help uncover a potentially bigger criminal ring.
In Harris County Probable Cause Court, Azuonwu’s bail was set at $30,000.