Shaker Heights charged with impersonating diplomat, fraud

CLEVELAND - A suburban Cleveland man is 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 house.

A federal indictment unsealed Wednesday charges 42-year-old Derek J. Bishop with seven counts.

The Shaker Heights man 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 again days later to try to get released from jail.

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 listed no attorney for Bishop.

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