Chicago Rapper "G Herbo" Pleads Guilty to Role in Nationwide Fraud Conspiracy and Making False Statements
BOSTON – A Chicago-area rap artist pleaded guilty today in federal court in Springfield, Mass. to his role in a nationwide wire fraud conspiracy that victimized businesses across the United States and then making a false statement to a federal agent to conceal his involvement.
Herbert Wright, 25, a/k/a “G Herbo,” pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of making a false statement to a federal official. U.S. District Court Judge Mark G. Mastroianni scheduled sentencing for Nov. 7, 2023.
Wright was initially indicted by a federal grand jury in December 2020 along with five co-defendants, including rap promoter Antonio Strong, in connection with the alleged fraud conspiracy. Wright was subsequently charged with making false statements in May 2021.
“Mr. Wright used stolen account information as his very own unlimited funding source, using victims’ payment cards to finance an extravagant lifestyle and advance his career. Mr. Wright’s conduct affected countless businesses and individuals across the United States who had to foot his nearly $140,000 bill in unauthorized transactions. Mr. Wright flaunted his lavish spending on social media, in music videos and in industry news. This office and our law enforcement partners are committed to ensuring that individuals and businesses are protected against fraudsters. This case should serve as a reminder that if you break the law, you will be prosecuted and held accountable – regardless of who you are,” said Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy.
“The willful and intentional use of false statements during a federal criminal investigation threatens not only the integrity of an individual case but also a foundational tenet of our democracy at large,” said Andrew Murphy, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service, Boston Field Office. “Today’s announcement represents our communal dedication to the truth and I am proud of the investigative team of special agents and federal partners at the Massachusetts U.S. Attorney’s Office for the essential work behind these charges.”
Beginning in at least March 2017 through November 2018, Wright and, allegedly, his co-defendants conspired to defraud numerous businesses and individuals throughout the United States by using unauthorized and stolen payment card account information of real individuals – including the actual cardholders’ names, addresses, security codes and account expiration dates. Generally, because the payment card information was authentic, the defrauded businesses and individuals successfully processed the fraudulent transactions and provided the goods and services to Wright and his alleged co-conspirators. The actual cardholders discovered these transactions on their accounts and disputed the charges with their card companies who then charged back the transactions to the businesses and individuals, which consequently suffered losses in the amounts of the unauthorized transactions.
According to court documents, Wright frequently asked Strong for a number of luxury goods or services, such as flights, vehicles (“whips”), or accommodation (“cribs”), which Strong allegedly often procured by fraud using the stolen payment card account information. This included: four private jet charters for a total cost of over $80,000; over $34,000 in exotic car rentals including a Mercedes Benz 5560 and a Cadillac Escalade; as well as an over $14,500 villa in Jamaica for which Wright also requested that Strong provide vehicles and an additional credit card account for his incidentals. During text message conversations, Wright acknowledged that it did not cost Strong anything to rent a vehicle for him, stating: “Extend that whip bro that b**** ain't for no month why you be lying […] You know it don't be costing you s*** to do that s*** dude!”
Wright also used the fraud proceeds to travel to various concert venues and to advance his career by posting photographs and/or videos of himself on the private jets, in the exotic cars and at the Jamaican villa on social media as well as in music videos. In addition, Wright allegedly helped Strong obtain two designer Yorkie puppies for over $10,000 from a business by falsely representing that Wright was the actual purchaser of the puppies and by concealing Strong’s actual identity from the business.
Additionally, according to court documents in November 2018, Wright falsely told a federal agent that he never worked with or was assisted by Strong; he never provided Strong any money; he never received anything of value from Strong; and he had no direct relationship with Strong. In fact, since at least 2016: (1) Strong worked with and assisted Wright; (2) Wright provided Strong money; (3) Wright received valuable goods from Strong, including private jet charters, luxury accommodations, and exotic car rentals; and (4) Wright had frequent direct contact with Strong, including phone conversations, text messages and Instagram messages.
Wright admitted, as part his guilty plea, that he was responsible for $139,878 in victim losses. Strong has pleaded not guilty and is awaiting trial.
The charge of wire fraud conspiracy provides for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, up to five years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. The charge of false statements provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, up to three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
Acting U.S. Attorney Levy and USSS SAC Murphy made the announcement. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven H. Breslow of the Springfield Branch Office and Trial Attorneys Andrew Tyler and Kyle Crawford of the Justice Department’s Criminal Division’s Fraud Section are prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The remaining defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.