A Georgia man who scammed hotel rooms and luxury limos by claiming to be with the Wu-Tang Clan has been sentenced to more than eight years in prison.
Walker Washington, 53, was sentenced by a federal judge Thursday, and in addition to the 100 months, he was ordered to pay almost $299,900 in restitution, according to court documents.
The scheme by Washington and Aaron Barnes-Burpo, 29, went on for at least two months in 2019.
During that time, the men falsely said they were affiliated with Roc Nation and the Wu-Tang Clan, the famed rap group known for many hits including "C.R.E.A.M.," and " Protect Ya Neck," prosecutors said.
They also used stolen credit card information to book hotels and rent limos, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Georgia said.
“These two flim-flam artists and their phony entourage lived large for several weeks by scamming hospitality providers,” Acting U.S. Attorney David H. Estes said in a statement.
"We commend the skeptical hotel clerk who saw through the scam and alerted law enforcement, bringing this scheme to a halt," he said.
The scheme was foiled after an attempted Nov. 21 booking at the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Augusta with a request for 10 rooms, according to a criminal complaint. The guest information was given as "Rocnation/WuTangClan".
The staff thought it was a scam, and it was. The FBI was contacted, and Roc Nation confirmed the group was not affiliated and said the company had received calls from other hotels, the complaint says.
Some hotels said they lost up to $40,000. A limo company hired for two vehicles, including a Phantom Rolls Royce, was out more than $59,000, according to the criminal complaint.
Washington and Barnes-Burpo pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in October. Barnes-Burpo was sentenced to seven years in prison in March.
An attorney listed as representing Washington did not immediately return a request for comment Friday evening.
Washington told an FBI agent in February 2020 that he was essentially homeless and he planned the scheme with Barnes-Burpo while he was in jail, according to the criminal complaint.
"He said when he got out, they got started and it just got out of hand," the FBI agent wrote in the document.