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Chicago Man Sentenced to Federal Prison for fraudulent concert scheme

Romel Murphy, age 43, from Chicago, Illinois, received the prison term after a January 8, 2021...
Romel Murphy, age 43, from Chicago, Illinois, received the prison term after a January 8, 2021 guilty plea to one count of wire fraud.(MGN)
Published: Oct. 25, 2021 at 3:53 PM CDT
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CEDAR RAPIDS, Iowa (KCRG) - Romel Murphy, a man who fraudulently solicited artist booking deposits and other expenses for concerts that never occurred, was sentenced on Oct. 20th, 2021, to more than six years in federal prison. Murphy received the prison term after a Jan. 8th, 2021, guilty plea to one count of wire fraud.

Information from his sentencing and plea agreement showed that Murphy operated a talent booking agency that ostensibly booked artists for performances at concert venues around the U.S. From Nov 2017-March 2019, Murphy used his business to induce potential clients to send him funds to secure artists’ performances at concerts.  Murphy would send signed contracts to victims that appeared to have come from the artists, when in fact, Murphy had drafted and signed the contracts himself. The victim would sign the contracts and wire deposit funds to Murphy. Murphy did not send the money to the artists and converted the funds to his own use, including gambling. As the concert dates approached and the victims had advertised the concerts, the victims would discover that the artists had not received any funds, frequently through communications from the artists’ actual representatives.

In total, Murphy defrauded his victims out of more than $410,000. Murphy had three prior convictions for federal fraud-related offenses. He committed two of those offenses while on federal supervised release.

Murphy was sentenced to 77 months imprisonment and was ordered to make $414,433.23 in restitution to the victims of his offense. He must also serve a three-year term of supervised release after his prison term concludes. There is no parole in the federal system.

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