Bruno Mars impersonator charged for scamming Texas woman out of $100,000

Chinwendu Azuonwu allegedly posed as the singer

A man who allegedly posed as Bruno Mars and swindled a woman who believed she was dating the pop star out of $100,000 (£72,312) has been charged.

Chinwendu Azuonwu, 39, is believed to have impersonated the singer on Instagram and to have taken advantage of a woman who was searching for companionship.

ABC30 reports via court documents that the 63-year-old woman alleges she was contacted by Azuonwu on the platform in 2018. It’s claimed that Azuonwu sent her photos of Mars on tour, and later asked her for $10,000 (£7,222) for a “friend of the band” for “tour expenses”.

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The purported victim claimed that Azuonwu asked her for $90,000 (£66,332) two days later, to which she obliged. Court documents also state that the woman said she’d fallen in love with Azuonwu, who said he would quit his tour to be with her.

Authorities said each of the amounts were deposited into two separate accounts held by Azuonwu and an alleged accomplice, Basil Amadi.

Azuonwu was taken into custody this week and charged with third-degree felony money laundering. His bail was set at $30,000 (approximately £21,694) during a court hearing in Harris County on Tuesday (February 9).

Bruno Mars
Bruno Mars (Picture: Getty)

Last year Billie Eilish called on fans to stop trying to impersonate her.

The pop star addressed the fact that those who do so are endangering themselves by being mobbed by fans who believe it’s her. She also wrote on her Instagram stories that it’s “mean” and “disrespectful”.

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Several people have taken advantage of copying Eilish’s distinctive look. In one case, photographer Jordan Matter was forced to apologise after a stunt he organised with a Billie impersonator performing a backflip wasn’t approved by the singer’s team prior to the event.

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