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Man Indicted For Impersonating Ginuwine, DeVante

A Minnesota man has been indicted on mail and wire fraud charges for allegedly impersonating two singers so he could get models’ phone numbers and pay his bills. Ronrico Madison of St. Paul, Minn., was accused in U.S. District Court in Manhattan yesterday (Jan. 2) of posing as rapper Ginuwine and Donald “DeVante” DeGrate of the R&B group Jodeci.

The indictment and an earlier complaint returned in Minnesota accused the 23-year-old of posing as Ginuwine as he made phone calls to people across the U.S. During the calls, Madison allegedly sought advance fees for a Ginuwine concert to be held in Ohio and asked modeling and casting agencies to conduct casting calls and send him models’ pictures and phone numbers so he could include them in a music video.

Prosecutors alleged that Madison also persuaded several victims to pay his personal bills and send him money. According to court papers, one victim sent $6,900 to Madison while another victim lost $25,000 and a third lost $900. Other victims allegedly lost various amounts.

They said he defrauded one victim by impersonating DeGrate, even calling Sony Music during a three-way call and demanding to speak with Sony Music Entertainment chairman/CEO Tommy Mottola. He was denied.

Manny Atwal, Madison’s public defender in St. Paul, declined to comment. She represented Madison after his Dec. 13 arrest. A magistrate judge had ordered Madison held without bail and sent to New York to stand trial. Atwal said the transfer had not yet taken place.

If convicted, Madison would face up to five years in prison on each of the two counts and a $250,000 fine or twice the gain or loss resulting from the crime.

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