A Chicago man has been sentenced to more than six years in prison for defrauding Iowa concert venues.
Court records show at least six Iowa venues were bilked by 43-year-old Romel Murphy for concerts that never happened. One paid Murphy $50,000. According to a news release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Murphy claimed to be a talent booker and sent fake contracts to entertainment venues that appeared to cover artists’ fees for concerts.
Prosecutors say Murphy pocketed more than $410,000. He pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud. Murphy has three previous fraud convictions.
Murphy’s scheme defrauded concert venues across the country, but none were named. A federal judge has ordered him to pay back the fees he pocketed. Murphy may have made some connections in the industry by working as the road manager for a national recording artist in 2017. The artist, identified by the initials K.C. in court documents, fired Murphy after one month.