Two Men Con Over $100,000 From Hotels Pretending To Be Wu-Tang Clan Members
A group of men driving around in Rolls-Royces posed as famous rappers to scam more than $100,000 from exclusive hotels, according to a criminal complaint filed this week in U.S. District Court in Atlanta.
Investigators say Aaron Barnes-Burpo and another man claimed to be with the entertainment firm Roc Nation and the Wu-Tang Clan.
The Georgian Terrace hotel and Hyatt Regency in Atlanta say they walked out on tabs worth $45,000 and $39,000.
It wasn’t until a hotel in Augusta suspected a scam that Barnes-Burpo and Walker Washington were arrested.
Washington and Barnes-Burpo are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
Credit cards used in the scam included one that was stolen and another that was likely fake, the complaint states.
Two others with the group told deputies they were homeless men from Atlanta who had been recruited by the defendants to be bodyguards. Others who traveled with them were not charged.
Two men who pretended to be members of the Wu-Tang Clan are now behind bars for their scams.
On Wednesday (Feb. 12), Atlanta’s WSB-TV reported that Aaron Barnes-Burpo and Walker Washington posed as rappers with Wu-Tang and Roc Nation and scammed Atlanta-area hotels out of more than $100,000. According to the report, a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court in Atlanta says the guys drove around in Rolls-Royces and walked out on $45,000 and $39,000 tabs that they ran up with stolen and fake credit cards at the Georgian Terrace hotel and Hyatt Regency, respectively.
A conflicting but similar report from Atlanta Journal-Constitution states that the men identified themselves as executives with Roc Nation and listed the Wu-Tang Clan as guests during at least one of their stays. The would-be criminal masterminds were caught during an attempt to run a similar scam at a hotel in Augusta, Ga. after staff became suspicious and called Roc Nation to confirm. The men are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft.
There were other people traveling with them as part of their entourage, though they were not charged. Two of those men told police they were homeless men from Atlanta who were hired by Washington and Barnes-Burpo to be “bodyguards,” according to the complaint.
The AJC reports that the men also racked up a $60,000 bill with A-National Limousine, the company they’d rented the Rolls-Royce Phantom from. They also caused two Atlanta recording studios a total loss of more than $17,000, the complaint states.
In news related to people actually involved with the legendary group, affiliate Popa Wu reportedly passed away back in December of 2019. Wu, the older cousin of RZA and a relative of both ODB and GZA, had a large hand in helping form the group and was sent off with kind words from many of the group’s members.
More recently, another Wu-Tang affiliate Christ Bearer wedded his girlfriend Cheryl on Dec. 30, 2019. The rapper previously made headlines when he cut off his penis in a 2014 suicide attempt, but he appears to be in a much better space.