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A Norwegian man was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison Tuesday for bilking investors out of more than $1 million by telling them he had the exclusive rights to stage a series of Justin Bieber concerts.
Waleed Ahmed, 22, has been in custody since his arrest at San Francisco International Airport in 2012, and pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud last year. He admitted that he and coconspirators took the money knowing there was no contract with the Canadian pop star’s management for exclusive rights to his 2013 Scandinavian concerts. A federal judge in Los Angeles also ordered Ahmed to repay investors more than $1 million.
According to court documents, Ahmed promised an investor that he would reap $9 million in profits in three months. To make his pitch credible, he produced photos of himself with Norwegian dignitaries and Queen Rania of Jordan.
At age 19, Ahmed received a grant from the Norwegian government for a solar energy project, and had his picture taken with members of the nation’s ruling party. A Norwegian court issued a default judgment that he owes an investor $600,000. He also charged with insurance fraud in Norway for allegedly falsely reporting his car stolen.