According to CNN, an Ohio man claiming to be African royalty was convicted of fraud by a federal jury on Friday (Sept 16).
Daryl Robert Harrison, who went by Prince Daryl R. Attipoe and Prophet Daryl R. Attipoe, defrauded at least 14 people out of more than $800,000.
When asked if he was an African Prince, Daryl said, “Yes. It’s been validated.” He continued by saying that it was by virtue of a 2015 letter from an African King bestowing him the title, ‘Prince Daryl Attipoe.’
However, authorities say the royal title is nothing but ‘honorary’ as it doesn’t entitle Mr. ‘Attipoe’ to ascend to the throne, according to a defense witness who testified via video conference from Ghana, Africa.
Prosecutors also claim that the title ‘Prince’ was one of the several aliases Daryl used in an elaborate ploy to impress and swindle unwary victims into ‘investing’ with him.
Daryl, 44, is said to have duped a dozen investors out of over $800,000, promising high investment returns of up to 33% on ventures such as chrome, diamond, and gold mining. “Such financial transactions require a certified license,” sources from the DOJ said, noting Daryl admitted to being unlicensed.
Daryl’s stepfather, Robert Shelly Harrison Jr., who is awaiting trial, is also accused of being part of the scam.
Authorities said the men also claimed to be ‘prophets,’ ministers with the Power House of Prayer Ministries, a group that financially backed religious services in Ohio and Colorado. The two used the cash for personal expenses, including luxury vehicles and a house rental in Colorado.
Daryl Robert Harrison was convicted of mail and wire fraud, conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, and witness tampering. He faces up to 20 years in prison.
His lawyer was contacted for comment – there was no response. His stepfather’s attorney refused to comment on the conviction and denied the allegations filed against him.