A Texas woman has been scammed out of $100,000 for falling victim to a catfisher posing as singer Bruno Mars earlier this week.
A man named Chinwendu Azuonwu has been charged with money laundering, a third-degree felony, for pretending to be the Grammy-nominated artist, according to reports.
Chinwendu Azuonwu the Bruno Mars imposter appeared in Harris County criminal court.
Prosecutors in the case claim the defendant targeted a woman in her 60s in online dating sites. Azuonwu allegedly convinced the victim he was the “Uptown Funk” performer by sending her photos and text messages from the musician while he was touring.
The woman reportedly fell in love with the mock Bruno. The fake romance led Azuonwu to begin asking the woman for money. One check she made out for $10,000 was made out to a “friend of the band” for “touring expenses,” local station KTRK-TV reports.
After the initial check, the defendant and an alleged accomplice named Basil Amadi managed to get another $90,000 from the woman.
The Bruno Mars catfisher is expected to appear in court again next week for a bail review hearing.