Two men face “decades” in jail for £1.3 million fake festival scam

today26/02/2024 5

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Two men have pleaded guilty to fraud after illegally obtaining over a million dollars for a “fake” festival they claimed would be headlined by the likes of Justin Bieber, Billie Eilish and Post Malone.

A press release issued by the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, has confirmed that Terrence Morris, 41 and Blake Kelly, 36 pleaded guilty on February 13 to the charges.

The scammers are now said to be facing “up to 20 or more” years in jail for their combined crimes, according to a report from

Between 2019 and 2020, Morris and Kelly fraudulently obtained approximately $1,350,000 from their victim, who was said to be a concert promoter and president of two companies, according to Digital Music News.

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In exchange for funding, the victim was reportedly promised half of the profits from ticket, merch and concession sales.

The two men forged festival contracts and emails from the supposed high-profile headliners and falsified a video call using a Justin Bieber lookalike.

The true nature of Morris and Kelly’s’ scam came to light after the victim published a press release about the festival. Said to ‘prominently’ feature the global superstar, Bieber’s team were quick to send a cease-and-desist letter.

“Mr. Bieber was saddened to learn about the circumstances alleged in the indictment that led to the guilty pleas and cooperated fully with federal law enforcement throughout the investigation,” the ‘Baby’ singer’s attorney Michael Rhodes told NBC News.

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According to the press release, Morris and Kelly used the illegally obtained money to fund a lavish lifestyle which included “travelling, purchasing luxury goods, paying for luxurious services and dining at high-priced restaurants.” Sentencing for the pair is said to be scheduled for May.

News of Morris and Kelly’s crime comes after Fyre Festival Fraudster Billy McFarland conducted one of the most infamous festival scams, which saw countless festival-goers stranded on an island in the Bahamas without sufficient food, water or accommodation.

Less than four years into a six-year sentence, McFarland has been released and is now said to be promoting ‘Fyre Festival II.’

Belle Richardson is Mixmag’s Digital Intern, follow her on Twitter

Written by: Tim Hopkins

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