A federal jury on Friday convicted an Ohio man who allegedly posed as a Ghanaian prince and scammed at least 14 people to the tune of over $800,000. According to CNN, Daryl Robert Harrison allegedly used the pseudonyms “Prince Daryl R. Attipoe” and “Prophet Daryl R. Attipoe.” And he defrauded his victims over many years.
The jury convicted Harrison of mail and wire fraud, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and witness tampering. He faces up to 20 years in prison when he appears at a future sentencing hearing.
In a statement, the Department of Justice said Harrison and his stepfather claimed they were ministers with Power House of Prayer Ministries, an organization that “sponsored religious services in various church facilities and private residences throughout the Greater Dayton area, Southwestern Ohio area and Parker, Colorado.”
Harrison is said to have falsely claimed that he was a prince from Ghana. He also managed to convince his victims to invest in supposed African trucking and mining companies by claiming that he had direct contact with those entities, the DOJ said. The convicted man also told his investor victims that they could earn an investment return of 28 to 33 percent, the statement added.
Shortly after investments were deposited, the DOJ said that Harrison “routinely withdrew thousands of dollars in cash from the Ministries bank accounts.” The convicted man and his stepfather allegedly used those funds to “rent a house in Colorado, purchase luxury vehicles, airplane tickets, hotel accommodations and rental cars.”
In the 2020 indictment, federal prosecutors claimed that Harrison and his stepfather set out to “unjustly enrich themselves and PHOP by soliciting monies from investors using false and fraudulent pretenses, representations and promises, and converting those monies for defendants’ personal benefit and for the benefit of PHOP without the knowledge or authorization of the investors,” CNN reported.
And after receiving the investment funds from the victims, prosecutors alleged that Harrison “failed to provide investors with interest payments, routinely terminated all communications with investors, ignored individual investor inquiries, and ignored demands from investors seeking the return of investment monies.”
Harrison’s stepfather is also set to stand trial.