A collective group of thieves used fake aliases as members of the Wu-Tang Clan in order to scam Georgia hotels out of more than $100,000 in purchases and services. According to the New York Post, a complaint filed by the US District Court in Atlanta revealed that the group of scammers was using the Staten Island-bred hip-hop group and the Roc Nation entertainment firm to acquire rooms and services from various resorts throughout the metropolitan areas of Georgia as the thieves drove around in a rented Rolls-Royce Phantom.
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Prosecutors have stated that the criminals were able to run up a $45,000 tab at Atlanta’s Terrace Hotel while the FBI obtained evidence that the group also left an unpaid bill of $39,000 at the Hyatt Regency Atlanta. Two Atlanta recording studios also fell victim to the group of scammers as they employed a total of $17,000 worth of recording time and equipment. Lastly, the faux Wu-Tang Clan and Roc Nation affiliates’ rented Phantom accosted A-National Limousine approximately $60,000.
According to the court documents, the thieves allegedly used a stolen credit card alongside a fake credit line to ‘fund’ their faulty operation. The group of scammers’ run officially came to an end at the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Augusta, GA when they attempted to book ten rooms under their Wu-Tang/Roc Nation pseudonyms. After becoming suspicious, the hotel’s sales director contacted Roc Nation directly and was informed that the men shared no connection with the Jay Z-owned organization.
All of the men were detained by the Richmond County Sheriff’s Department, but only two men, Walker Washington and Aaron Barnes-Burpo were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Two of the men detained told the authorities that they were hired by Washington and Barnes-Burpo as bodyguards and were homeless. The other participants in this elaborate scheme were not charged.