Man convicted of posing as Congo president’s son to be sentenced

A San Francisco man convicted of defrauding a Bay Area couple out of $1.6 million is scheduled to be sentenced in federal court.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office told The Marin Independent Journal that it is seeking a 37-month sentence and a restitution order for 42-year-old Blessed Marvelous Herve, who pretended to be the son of Congo’s president.

Herve admitted to persuading the couple to forward him money with promises of repayment, lucrative commissions and false claims that the federal government had seized his money and imprisoned him. The two victims, ages 69 and 70, lost their retirement savings and ended up $200,000 in debt.

The 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, according to the FBI. Herve also 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, the FBI said.

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. Herve’s lawyers say his father was a “high-level government official” in the Republic of Congo who was assassinated during political unrest.

Herve is due in court Wednesday.

—Staff, wire report

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