A man who purported to be a Ghanaian prince and defrauded numerous individuals out of more than $800,000 in Ohio, America, has been given a twenty-year prison sentence.
CNN reports that Daryl Robert Harrison, also known as Prince Daryl R. Attipoe and Prophet Daryl R. Attipoe, defrauded at least 14 victims and amassed a sizable fortune at their expense.
He was found guilty of mail and wire fraud, conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud, and interfering with witnesses in September of last year, but his sentence has now been handed down.
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According to the prosecution, Harrison defrauded people out of their money by pretending to be a prince from Ghana who could assist them in making investments in African haulage and mining firms.
Most of the victims of the fraud were said to have been members of the Power House of Prayer Ministries, a church that the now-convicted man and his stepfather pretended to be pastors of.
According to a CNN story, prosecutors testified before Judge Michael J. Newman’s District Court that Harrison and his stepfather utilized the investment funds obtained from their victims for personal needs, including renting a home in Colorado and buying expensive cars.
In court documents, prosecutors described Harrison as an “extremely self-centred, self-possessed sociopath who has no respect for societal rules or norms, and further lacks any empathy or sympathy for his victims”.
The documents added that he “intimidated and threatened his victims to establish and maintain control over them” and that “each of the Defendant’s fraud crimes were committed in a cold, calculated and premeditated fashion.”
Harrison pleaded for mercy before to being sentenced, and petitions from parishioners and family members urged the court to balance justice with mercy. His attorney pleaded for a lighter sentence, citing his client’s wife’s stage IV cancer and the fact that she is caring for their six children.
The maximum sentence allowed by law, 20 years in prison, was instead imposed on him by Judge Michael J. Newman. The punishment is longer than the 14-year sentence that the prosecutors requested.
The convict’s stepfather, Robert Shelly Harrison, Jr., who helped him commit the murder, reportedly entered a December guilty plea to one felony charge and is scheduled to be sentenced this month.