It's 2019, and it looks like folks are still schemin'.
Four men have been accused of trying to pull the ultimate scam by getting wealthy investors to pay millions of dollars for concerts they claimed would be headlined by megastar acts Rihanna, Janet Jackson and Bruno Mars.
According to New York Daily News, authorities were first made aware of the alleged scam back in July 2018 when a lawyer for the entertainment company representing Rih contacted the FBI to report that a New Orleans man by the name of Kwasi Asare was attempting to get investors to dish out nearly $20 million for a non-existent, forthcoming Rihanna concert.
Apparently Asare, 39, had promised a whopping 22 percent return on the $19.5 million investment. However, representatives for the Anti singer denied ever knowing Asare. This led to an FBI agent posing undercover as a potential investor and communicating with Asare over the course of nearly a year.
By November 2018, Asare attempted to solicit the agent into investing $4 million in a faux Bruno Mars concert, too. In February 2019, Asare reached out again via email, this time requesting $20 million for a 16-show Janet Jackson tour. According to court documents obtained by the NY Times, Asare assured the agent that he'd receive a return of $400,000 per show. The following month, Asare was wired $25,000 as "down payment" from the undercover agent.
During a meeting in April, the agent met up with Asare and his accomplices, Mark Lamica, 52, James Ganiere, 47 and Kevin Carriker, 49, to discuss the purported Jackson concert, where it was "insisted" that he cough up an additional $2 million, according to court documents.
Similar to Rihanna's camp, in both instances, representatives for Janet and Bruno denied knowing Asare and the other co-defendants.
All four suspects were arrested Wednesday morning in California on fraud charges for conspiracy to defraud investors. They are expected to appear in a Long Island, NY, court next month.
(Photos from left: Tim P. Whitby/Tim P. Whitby/Getty Images, Slaven Vlasic/FilmMagic, Jeff Kravitz/FilmMagic)