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Shaker Heights man accused of pretending to be a diplomat

Shaker Heights man accused of pretending to be a diplomat

(Cleveland) -- A Shaker Heights man has been indicted for impersonating a diplomat and attempting to buy a house and car using fictitious financial documents, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

Derek J. Bishop, 42, was named in a seven-count indictment filed in U.S. District Court. He is charged with fictitious obligations, impersonating a diplomat and wire fraud.

The indictment says Bishop used fictitious Fifth Third checks in March 2013 to attempt to purchase a Nissan Armada for $54,098 from Ganley Nissan. He also tried to use fictitious checks to make payments to Verizon, AT&T, and Nationwide Insurance, according to the indictment.

Prosecutors say Bishop falsely claimed he was a foreign diplomat of the Vatican/Postmaster General of the Divine Province in an attempt to avoid paying taxes on the vehicle and to demand his release from the Cuyahoga County Jail, according to the indictment.

Finally, Bishop is accused of using fraudulent trust documents in March 2013 to attempt to purchase property in Moreland Hills, Ohio, for more than $3.1 million. He attempted to purchase the property by providing Chicago Title Company LLC with false and fraudulent trust documents representing to be for the Bishop Family Trust, even though the trust had no assets or funds to pay the purchase price, according to the indictment.

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(Copyright 2013 Clear Channel, all rights reserved.  Photo courtesy U.S. Attorney's Office) 

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