Two Nigerians charged with impersonating Bruno Mars for fraud

Bruno Mars impersonators

Two men of Nigerian origin face between two and 10 years in state prison if convicted of impersonating American singer Bruno Mars on Instagram to defraud a 63-year-old Texas woman of $100,000.

One of the men Chinwendu Azuonwu, 39, and permanent resident of Houston appeared in court on Tuesday.

Court documents show his co-conspirator was identified as Basil Amadi, 29.

The victim told police that in 2018 she created a profile on Instagram “in search of companionship”, Daily Mail reports.

She said she fell in love with the person she thought was the 11-time Grammy Award winner.

Police said that in September 2018, ‘Mars’ asked the woman to send him a $10,000 check to help cover touring expenses.

Another request of $90,000 was made two days later, which she obliged.

Investigators subpoenaed bank records and traced the two JPMorgan Chase accounts to Azuonwu and Amadi.

Azuonwu acknowledged that he was the owner of one of the bank accounts in question, though he denied ever knowing Amadi, prosecutors said.