HomeMiami NewsOver $1 million obtained through deceit: California and Missouri men enter guilty...

Over $1 million obtained through deceit: California and Missouri men enter guilty pleas in fraudulent music concert scheme


Miami, Florida – Two men have admitted to their roles in a fraud scam involving non-existent music concerts. Terronce Morris, from Missouri City, Texas, and Blake Kelly, from Los Angeles, California, have entered guilty pleas to charges of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, along with aggravated identity theft. The men promised performances by renowned artists to trick victims into falling for their music concert fraud scheme.

A Sophisticated Fraud Scheme

Between December 2019 and March 2020, Morris, 41, and Kelly, 36, engaged in a deceitful plot to obtain approximately $1,350,000 from an individual identified only as J.R. The duo falsely claimed they were organizing a music festival featuring artists such as J.B., P.M., and B.E., among others. In order to give their allegations more credibility, they forged the signatures of these artists on concert contracts and created email accounts that were designed to look like they were communicating directly with the artists themselves.

Morris and Kelly also arranged for an accomplice to impersonate artist J.B. during a video call with the victim, further convincing J.R. of the legitimacy of the concert series. Trusting their representations, the victim issued three wire transfers to Morris, in addition to mailing a $200,000 check purportedly for J.B., which Morris deposited into his personal account.

The fraudulently obtained money was not used to produce any music events. Instead, Morris and Kelly indulged in a spree of lavish spending, utilizing the stolen funds for travel, luxury purchases, extravagant services, and dining at upscale restaurants.

The legal consequences of their actions are now catching up with Morris and Kelly. Morris’s sentencing is set for May 2, at 1:30 p.m., while Kelly is expected to be sentenced on March 28, at 1:00 p.m. Both individuals are facing up to 20 years of imprisonment for the conspiracy charge, with an additional mandatory two-year sentence for the aggravated identity theft charge.

The announcement of their guilty pleas was made by U.S. Attorney Markenzy Lapointe for the Southern District of Florida, alongside Special Agent in Charge Jeffrey B. Veltri of the FBI’s Miami Field Office. The FBI’s Miami division carried out the investigation into this case, with Assistant U.S. Attorneys Roger Cruz and Joan Silverstein leading the prosecution efforts.

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