Rap Imposters Posed as Wu-Tang Clan to Scam Hotels Out of Thousands


A crew of Rolls Royce-riding identity thieves who posed as rap industry figures scammed more than $100,000 from some of the South’s most exclusive hotels, prosecutors say.

The men told hotel workers they were with the entertainment firm Roc Nation, and listed the rap group Wu-Tang Clan with at least one of the hotels, according to a criminal complaint filed this week in U.S. District Court in Atlanta. Walker Washington and Aaron Barnes-Burpo have been charged with identity theft in Atlanta, Georgia. No one else has yet been charged but others are thought to be involved. The Georgian Terrace Hotel in Atlanta – where cast members from ‘Gone With The Wind’ stayed during film’s Atlanta premiere – was left with a $45,000 unpaid bill.

Representatives of the Hyatt Regency Atlanta told the FBI the group walked away without paying its $39,000 tab. Aaron Barnes-Burpo and Walker Washington are shown in previous mugshots. It is the second time Walker Washington has tried to scam hotels by posing as a rapper The Wu-Tang Clan pictured in a 2007 publicity shot. The scammers pretended they represented the group or were members of it to scam hotels then leave without paying their bill They had been driving a Roll Royce Phantom rented from A-National Limousine, which reported a loss of nearly $60,000.

The group also used two Atlanta recording studios but never paid those bills either. They left owing a total $17,000, the complaint states. Walker Washington and Aaron Barnes-Burpo are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Credits cards used in the scam included one that was stolen, and another that was likely fake, the complaint states.
The scam unraveled at a Fairfield Inn and Suites in Augusta, Georgia, where 10 rooms were booked, supposedly for an artist and his entourage.

The men walked out on a $45,000 bill at The Georgian Terrace Hotel in Atlanta. The reservation listed Roc Nation and the Wu Tang Clan, prosecutors said, But the staff suspected a scam, and the hotel sales director called Roc Nation and was told the company was not associated with the men booking rooms. After Barnes-Burpo tried to check in under the Roc Nation reservation, he and others with him were detained by Richmond County sheriff’s deputies.

Two others with the group told deputies they were homeless men from Atlanta who had been recruited by the defendants to be bodyguards. Others who traveled with them were not charged.
Court records do not list attorneys for the defendants who could be reached for comment on their behalf.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here