In a scam that affected 36 companies in 11 states and four countries, a man from Texas tried to scam Martin Guitar, but failed to obtain anything from the company. Michael Glenn Barnes pretended to be members or employees of various bands and sports teams. He was able to convince music and athletic gear companies to send him over $20,000 in products from May 2015 through September of this year.
Barnes was indicted for aggravated identity theft, wire fraud and mail fraud. According to court papers, he created gmail accounts under fabricated names in order to implement the scam. In July 2015, Barnes sent an email to C.F. Martin & Co., in which he requested that the company give him an acoustic guitar with a value of approximately $440. Barnes said he wished to use the guitar in a Rolling Stone magazine shoot. He requested that it be sent to his home, but the company refused to do so.
In November 2016, he sent another email to Martin Guitar, posing as a member of the group Memphis May Fire. He placed an order for an acoustic guitar with a value of about $440. In March 2017, Barnes sent an email to the company stating he was a member of the band Red. He requested a guitar worth about $1,999, which he said was to be used in an acoustic DVD shoot as well as in a recording session in Dallas.
In August 2015, Barnes posed as a player in the Philadelphia Phillies organization, and asked Rawling Sports Goods Company for a free glove that he said he would use when he was in the majors. Records indicate that the company mailed the glove, which had a value of about $305.
In April of this year, the scam reached New Jersey, when Barnes posed as a member of Red and communicated with someone from Musical Distribution Group of Riverdale. He requested guitars that he said he planned to use in shoots with Guitar World and Rolling Stone. He gave a cellphone number that was traced to his name in Texas.