CRIMINAL: A man who defrauded people out of more than $1 million by falsely claiming he could help book a Pharrell concert for a South Korean steel company – and also by targeting women in online dating scams – has been sentenced to two years in prison in the USA.
Billboard reports that Sigismond Segbefia, 29, a native of Ghana who lived in Silver Spring, Maryland at the time of the frauds, was arrested in New York and prosecuted by federal authorities in Pittsburgh because one of his biggest dating scam victims was a Pennsylvania woman he defrauded out of more than $222,000 by using the name and address of an unwitting Pittsburgh-area postal worker.
Segbefia, who pleaded guilty in December, must pay nearly $1.2 million in restitution. He has agreed to be deported after serving his prison term for aggravated identity theft and wire fraud.
In pleading guilty to the dating scams, Segbefia acknowledged his role in the unrelated crime of defrauding Dosko Co. out of $375,000 by pretending he could arrange to promote a show by Pharrell Williams. Nobody else has been charged in that scheme, though Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Melucci told Senior U.S. District Judge Gustave Diamond that Segbefia “was not a leader in that fraud.” The scam remains under investigation, but the other people involved are believed to live overseas, the have authorities said.
And IQ reports that a Hawaiian man whose ponzi scheme defrauded investors of a total of US$638,000 for bogus concerts and rodeos has been arrested by the FBI. Federal Bureau of Investigation agents detained Turk Cazimero – the owner of a promotions business called Hawaiian Hurricane Productions which, among other things, claimed to be behind the non-existent ‘Vans Warped DJ tour’. According to prosecutors, Cazimero showed prospective investors flyers, websites, advertisements and a YouTube video which claimed that the 56-year-old had previously booked a country music concert and rodeo, reports the Honolulu Star-Advertiser. If convicted on his charges (three counts of federal wire fraud) Cazimero faces up to 60 years in prison – 20 years on each count.