Man accused of pretending to be in Kevin Hart's entourage

Posted at 7:46 AM, Jul 01, 2016

A man was arraigned in Erie County Court Thursday, on charges stemming from an incident in which he is accused of impersonating a member of comedian Kevin Hart's entourage.

Leland Burks, age 55, has pleaded not guilty to two counts of identity theft and one count of scheme to defraud. Prosecutors say Burks used stolen credit card numbers to buy tickets to Kevin Hart's performance at the First Niagara Center back in April of 2015.

But according to acting district attorney Michael Flaherty, Burks took the scheme a step further. During the time Hart would have been in Buffalo for the show, Flaherty's office says Burks posed as a member of Hart's entourage to book hotel rooms at various hotels in Buffalo. The hotels were also allegedly paid for using stolen credit card numbers. The total value of the tickets and hotel rooms booked in this case was approximately $12,710.20.

Burks was extradited from Alabama, where he just completed a sentence on another charge, to appear in Erie County Court Thursday. Following his arraignment, he was transported to jail.

If convicted of all three counts against him, Burks faces a maximum sentence of 7 to 14 years in prison.