Bruno Mars is at the center of a catfish prank.
A 63-year-old Texas woman claims she was coaxed out of $100,000 by someone pretending to be the “24K Magic” singer. According to TMZ, the alleged victim set up an Instagram account in 2018 and connected with the imposter.
The two developed an online relationship which she believed was real because the catfish sent her multiple texts and photos of Bruno while he was on tour. Documents state the woman fell in love with the fake Bruno.
He eventually asked her for money and she ended up mailing him two checks, one for $10,000 and another for $90,000. She was told that the cashier’s checks were to cover “tour expenses,” and that he wanted to quit the tour to be with her.
The $90,000 check was deposited into the account of Chinwendu Azuonwu and was withdrawn down to a zero balance, while $10,000 was placed in the account of his alleged accomplice, Basil Amadi. Both men were charged with money laundering and were taken into custody this week.
Investigators separately interviewed Azuonwu and Amadi. Amadi said he knew Azuonwu, but Azuonwu claimed not knowing Amadi or the reason for the $90,000 withdrawal.
Cops believe the men may be working for scammers overseas. They are hoping they cooperate to help uncover a potentially larger criminal ring.