|I take Stutz Drive, right off Tippecanoe Road,
to get to my investment company. It’s right next to the
big Notify Technology building.
|There’s the familiar sign, for D. J. Harriett, Inc.|
|Patti, the receptionist, says hello, asks if I need some coffee.|
|I say hello to the little Cocker Spaniel, Snickers.
He’s such a friendly dog. If he’s here, it must mean
Dave’s in his office. They’re inseparable.
|I look at the big photo hanging on the wall,
from the Caribbean cruise the office took.
Patti tells me they just got it framed.
|I pick up the investment brochure.
I glance at a picture for a Pioneer Chicken restaurant…
|…and a Better Business Bureau logo.|
|A woman walks by. I’ve never met her.
Her name is Marian. She’s pretty new here.
I remember Patti said her husband recently passed away.
She seems nice.
|Patti said to go on back. I pass Brenda’s office.
She has a plaque with Psalm 86:11 on her office door,
the one that starts: "Teach me your way, O LORD,
and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart,
that I may fear your name."
|Dave comes out and shakes my hand. He’s a smart guy.
Always has a smile.
|This is Honorable Judge O’Malley.
She’s talking but I’m not really listening.
About 30 of us are crammed into this courtroom.
I hear "Ponzi scheme" and "200 investors" and "lost $7 million."
Dave looks frail. They said he has pancreatic cancer
and won’t live long. He might get 5 years in jail.
Now he’s out on bail. Someone next to me mutters,
"He won’t suffer long enough."
Better Business Bureau>>
(All images are of the actual people, places, or things related to David J. Harriett’s Ponzi fraud.)
From the FBI press release:
From August 1996 through January 2010, Harriett represented to more than 200 investors that he and his company, DJ Harriet, Inc., were approved "project managers" for the construction of new McDonalds and Pioneer Chicken franchise restaurants in the Northeast Ohio, New York, Indiana, Pennsylvania and Florida, according to Harriet’s plea.
Harriett solicited investors for DJ Harriett, Inc. and, in exchange for their investment, provided investors with promissory notes that purportedly guaranteed the return of their investment, plus significant interest, according to his plea.
Harriet sent numerous letters through the mail to investors which falsely represented the success and growth of the company as well as the existence and success of franchise construction contracts. Harriett knew that neither he nor DJ Harriett, Inc. had any contracts with McDonalds or Pioneer Chicken, let alone franchise construction contracts. Moreover, Harriett also knew the investor money was not being put to any legitimate use, but rather was being used to make Ponzi payments to other investors, to operate DJ Harriett, Inc. and for Defendant’s own purposes and personal use, according to his plea.