Duo Pleads Guilty To Impersonating Music Stars, Swindling Over $1 Million from Concert Organizer

(Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images for Coachella)

Mariane Angela Contributor
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Two men plead guilty defrauding a concert promoter out of more than $1 million by posing as Justin Bieber, Billie Eilish, and Post Malone in performance contracts, the U.S. Department of Justice said in a press release Friday.

Terronce Morris and Blake Kelly pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, as well as aggravated identity theft, as federal officials announced, according to the DOJ. The duo forged contracts with fake signatures from Justin Bieber, Billie Eilish, and Post Malone, falsely claiming they had arranged for their performances at a music festival, said federal prosecutors.

To further deceive the promoter, Morris and Kelly arranged a video call with an accomplice impersonating Bieber, the Department of Justice stated. They persuaded the concert promoter to transfer $1.35 million to them, purportedly for production costs, the federal officials stated. The men reportedly spent the money on a luxurious lifestyle, including travel, luxury items, and upscale dining. (RELATED: Two Former NBA Stars Convicted In Sprawling, Multi-Million Dollar Fraud Scheme)

The victim wired money to Morris and sent a $200,000 check intended for J.B., which Morris deposited for personal use. The duo splurged on luxury, funding opulent lifestyles and extravagant expenses, according to the Department of Justice. Morris awaits sentencing May 2, and Kelly on March 28. They face a maximum of 20 years for conspiracy and an additional two years for identity theft.

Bieber commented on the issue through his attorney Michael Rhodes. “Mr. Bieber was saddened to learn about the circumstances alleged in the indictment that led to the guilty pleas and cooperated fully with federal law enforcement throughout the investigation,” the singer’s attorney Rhodes told NBC News.