Texas Woman Scammed Out of $100K After Falling in Love with Fake Bruno Mars Account
The unidentified woman told police that she made an Instagram page looking for companionship before an account pretending to be Mars contacted her.
Image via Getty/Ethan Miller
Nev and Max could have saved one woman a lot of money.
Houston’s local ABC affiliate reported on Tuesday that Chinwendu Azuonwu is expected to appear in court for third-degree felony money laundering. Azuonwu was hit with the charges last month after he allegedly scammed a woman out of $100,000 by pretending to be Bruno Mars.
According to court documents, Azuonwu is part of a scheme that took place between September and October 2018 that targeted a 63-year-old North Texas woman. The unidentified woman told police that she made an Instagram page looking for companionship before an account pretending to be the singer contacted her. The account made her believe that Mars was looking to have a meaningful relationship with her and the woman fell in love.
The woman believed it was Mars because the account sent multiple pictures of the singer on tour with other artists. She also told the police that the faux account claimed to want to quit the tour for her. Then, the Mars account then began to ask for money. She was allegedly asked to write a $10,000 check to a “friend of the band” for “tour expenses.” Then, two days later, the account asked her to give $90,000.
The money was deposited into different accounts held by Azuonwu and his alleged accomplice, Basil Amadi. Warrants were issued, finding that a $90,000 deposit was made to Azuonwu then withdrawn to a zero balance. Investigators interviewed Amadi and Azuonwu separately. Azuonwu claimed to not know where the money came from, but Amadi admitted to knowing Azuonwu. Both men have since been charged with money laundering.