South Korean steel company scammed out of $375,000 for fake Pharrell gig

Sigismond Segbefia charged with wire fraud, bank fraud and identity theft

A South Korean steel company fell victim to a scam artist who claimed he was a representative of Pharrell Williams and could help the firm book the performer for a gig, FBI agents in Pennsylvania have said.

The Associated Press reports that Sigismond Segbefia used a company he incorporated, Eastern Stars LLC, to reach out to Dosko Co Ltd in South Korea and offer assistance in booking the ‘Happy’ performer, the FBI has said.

Dosko – who are attempting to move into the entertainment industry – wired $375,000 (£247,000) to the alleged fraudster after, according to the FBI, he claimed to be working with a Japanese booking agency.

28-year-old Segbefia, who is originally from Ghana, was arrested Tuesday (April 21) by authorities at John F. Kennedy Airport in New York. He faces an array of charges, including wire fraud, bank fraud and identity theft, and is also accused of a number of other scams, including stealing the identity of a postal worker and using it to obtain more than $445,000 from women he met on dating sites.

Segbefia is currently confined to his home in Silver Spring, Maryland until his appearance before a federal magistrate on May 14 in Pittsburgh.

The real Pharrell has had his own share of legal problems lately. Last month a jury decided that the singer and his collaborator Robin Thicke must pay $7.3 million (£4.8m) to the family of Marvin Gaye after it was determined their 2013 hit ‘Blurred Lines’ copied Gaye’s 1977 single ‘Got To Give It Up’.

Meanwhile, Pharrell has confirmed that he is working with Missy Elliott on the rapper’s forthcoming comeback project.