Even this swanky scamming suspect’s name will fool you.
Blessed Marvelous Herve, 41, of San Francisco, is facing as many as 20 years in prison for defrauding a Bay Area couple out of $1.6 million while posing as the son of a Congolese president, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.
On Tuesday, Herve was scheduled to appear in federal court in The City, but it was continued to May 8.
The alleged ruse began in 2005 when Herve met a Marin real estate agent and convinced him that his father was Congo’s president and wanted to purchase several multimillion-dollar homes, FBI Agent Brian Weber said in an affidavit. Herve allegedly got the real estate agent to front some $30,000 for the rental of bulletproof limousines for when Herve’s father arrived to tour properties.
In 2008, Weber said, Herve told the victim that the U.S. government had seized $43 million from him and that he was battling to retain the money at the federal courthouse in San Francisco. Herve signed two promissory notes stating he would pay the victim $1.5 million in exchange for financial support during the court process, Weber said.
At the time, the victim reportedly believed Herve had been living in the lavish Four Seasons Hotel near Union Square, although he never saw his room and the hotel has no record of Herve living there.
The victim regularly met Herve in the lobby of the Four Seasons and often gave him rides to the courthouse, Weber said. In regards to the court case, Herve allegedly convinced the victim that the hearings were being held in secret under the U.S. Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act.
Meanwhile, the victim and his girlfriend went broke while supplying Herve with funds. The victim was tapped out in 2009 after giving Herve $635,000, Weber said. From 2009 to 2012, Herve reportedly told the couple he was in federal custody due to his court case and could only communicate by phone. During that time, Weber said, the girlfriend provided him $970,000 through wire transfers on the promise that Herve would repay upon his release.
Herve was born in the Democratic Republic of the Congo and granted asylum in 1999 before becoming a U.S. citizen last month, court records show.
The real estate agent told investigators he was fooled because Herve was reportedly knowledgeable about the Bay Area real estate market and had what appeared to be credible documents from top dignitaries.
Herve certainly remained in character on his Facebook page, where photographs show him wearing dapper suits and bragging about shopping sprees in Paris. There also are letters of praise allegedly from the likes of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein and former San Francisco Mayor Willie Brown.