Man Claiming To Be Son Of The President Of The Congo Pleads Guilty To Defrauding Victims Out Of $1.6 Million
SAN FRANCISCO – Blessed Marvelous Herve pleaded guilty in federal court in San Francisco today to wire fraud, United States Attorney Melinda Haag announced.
In pleading guilty, Herve admitted that from 2006 through 2012, he devised and executed a scheme to defraud victims out of approximately $1.6 million through a series of false and fraudulent statements, representations, and promises. Herve admitted that he falsely represented to victims that his father was the President of the Congo and a multi-billionaire.
Herve falsely represented that the United States government had recently seized more than $43 million of his money, and as part of his scheme, he sought the victim’s financial assistance in order to prevail in a federal court case to gain access to the funds. Herve admitted to signing four promissory notes in which he promised to pay one victim bonus sums of $500,000 and $1 million in exchange for the victim’s financial support of Herve’s purported quest to obtain the $43 million that the government had supposedly seized.
Herve also admitted that he falsely represented to victims that because of his federal court case, he was in federal prison from 2009 through 2012. During this time, Herve fraudulently solicited funds from a second victim. Herve promised this victim full repayment of her money plus a bonus of $1 million and a luxury car upon the completion of his federal case and the release of his seized funds. On or about October 2012, Herve solicited and received $47,000 from the second victim. He falsely claimed that he needed the funds to pay the Internal Revenue Service to satisfy the final judgment entered against him, and that this final payment of $47,000 would result in the release of his seized millions.
Herve, 41, of San Francisco, was charged by Criminal Complaint and arrested on April 24, 2013. He has been in custody since his arrest. He was indicted by a federal grand jury on May 7, 2013. Herve was charged with one count of wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C § 1343, to which he pleaded guilty under a plea agreement.
Herve’s sentencing hearing is scheduled for November 22, 2013, before The Honorable Jon S. Tigar, U.S. District Court Judge, in San Francisco. The maximum statutory penalty for wire fraud, in violation of 18 U.S.C § 1343, is 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. In his plea agreement, Herve agreed to pay restitution to the victims in the amount of approximately $1.7 million. However, any sentence will be imposed by the court only after consideration of the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and the federal statute governing the imposition of a sentence, 18 U.S.C. § 3553.
Hallie Hoffman is the Assistant U.S. Attorney who is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Elizabeth Garcia, Bridget Kilkenny, and Muffy Mallory. The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Department of Homeland Security.