Two California men are behind bars after scamming two LGBTQ+ organizations in 2015 and 2016 into thinking they worked for Mariah Carey. Raul Mejia Pereida, 47, and Allen Dean Gordon Clayborn, 35, were charged with wire fraud and identity theft after their ‘sophisticated’ operation pretending to work for the illusive chanteuse, according to USA Today.
The Grand Rapids Pride Center in Michigan and another LGBTQ+ organization in Flagstaff, AZ were swindled out of $130,000 believing that Mariah Carey would appear at their organizations to give charity concerts. Mariah Carey was to perform at Grand Rapids Pride in 2016 at Calder Plaza, but after spending $100,000, the concert never took place. Needless to say, the lambs were not happy.
The two men created aliases pretending to be Carey’s representatives. They created a fake email account with Carey’s road manager’s name and altered complimentary tickets to Carey’s concerts so they appeared to be gifts from Carey.
The news release stated:
All of this created the illusion that the victims were negotiating with actual employees of the singer’s production company. Mariah Carey knew nothing about this. The defendants used the money for their own purposes.
The two men appeared in court and were sentenced late last week as well as ordered to repay the $130,000 in restitution:
Pereida received 27 months in prison, and due to his undocumented status, deportation to Mexico after his sentence is complete.
Clayborn received 60 months in prison.
Source: USA Today