Two Plead Guilty After Fraudulently Receiving $1.35 Million to Produce Fake Music Festival

Two men are each facing up to 20 years in prison for their role in a fraudulent music festival scheme, according to a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida.

Terronce Morris and Blake Kelly of Missouri City, Texas pleaded guilty to aggravated identity theft and conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud after they pitched a fake music festival before collecting $1.35 million from the victim under the pretense they'd produce it. The pair claimed the festival would feature a handful of high-profile artists, including those with the initials J.B., P.M. and B.E. 

Morris and Kelly presented the victim with fake contracts containing forged signatures of the musicians, according to court documents. They also had an accomplice join a video call and pose as "J.B." to convince the victim that the artist had agreed to perform at the fictitious music festival. The funds were sent via three wire transfers and a check addressed to J.B., which Morris deposited into his own personal account. 

Morris and Kelly then used the money to "enrich themselves and finance a lavish lifestyle for themselves and their accomplices, which included traveling, purchasing luxury goods, paying for luxurious services, and dining at high-priced restaurants."

FBI Miami investigated the case against Morris and Kelly, per the press release. The former's sentencing is scheduled for May 2nd and the latter's sentencing is scheduled for March 28th. The men are facing up to 20 years in prison with an additional two years for the identity theft charge.

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