Ohio man accused of impersonating diplomat, fraud

CLEVELAND (AP) — A suburban Cleveland man has been charged with impersonating a foreign diplomat to get a sales tax exemption for a car purchase and using fake documents to try to buy a multimillion-dollar house.

A federal indictment unsealed Wednesday charges Derek J. Bishop with seven counts.

The Shaker Heights resident is accused of twice claiming to be “a diplomat of the Vatican/Postmaster General of the Divine Province.” Prosecutors allege he made that claim for a car purchase in mid-March and to try to get released from jail days later.

Prosecutors say Bishop also gave a title company false trust documents while attempting to buy a $3.1 million property in Moreland Hills. They say he used false checks for the vehicle purchase and other payments.

Court records list no attorney for Bishop, who can’t be reached for comment in jail.

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