A Houston man is giving new meaning to Bruno Mar’s song “24K Magic.”
According to TMZ a man named Chinwendu Azuonwu pretended to be Bruno Mars and scammed a 63-year-old woman out of $100,000.
The woman whose identity hasn’t been disclosed told authorities the ordeal started in 2018 when she joined Instagram “in search of companionship.” She interacted with a profile alleging to be the Finesse singer. She said she “fell in love” and was convinced it was really Bruno Mars because she received text messages showing him on tour.
Unfortunately it was all one big cat fishing scheme. The Bruno Mars impersonator then asked her to send $10,000 for tour costs and then another $90k. She sent the fund my mail. Police say the cash found its way into Azuonwu’s bank account. The 2 cashier’s checks were made out to “Chi Autos” at the behest of the fake Bruno, to cover “tour expenses.”
He was arrested earlier this week and charged with third-degree felony money laundering. He also allegedly had an accomplice … a man named Basil Amadi who’s facing similar charges.
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.