Feature Article of Wednesday, 19 April 2006
Columnist: Ed Haney
I am writing this article to discuss the Oman Ghana Trust Fund. From my understanding that I have obtained from research primarily online; most Ghanaians are very familiar with the trust. I would like to enlighten those that are not familiar with it or never cared to learn about it like myself until recently.
I am an American and I reside in the United States. I first heard about the trust about 4 years ago. I never looked into though until about 2 months ago. I was absolutely shocked from my findings and I can't help to wonder why the people of Ghana won't put an end to this con.
The late Dr. John Ackah Blay-Miezah was given the title "Ultimate Con Man" by the American television show 60 Minutes. He claimed to be worth $27 billion dollars. He lived and ran his operation for the trust fund in London. Despite the fact that he did not have access to one cent of his fortune, he was able to maintain a lavish lifestyle. Blay-Miezah worked out of offices in London's expensive Piccadilly. The problem was the billions were tied up in a secret trust fund that was so secret and complex that he would need financial help to unlock the funds.
The billions of dollars of Blay-Miezah's were supposedly locked up in the banks of Switzerland. He claims to have received the fortune from Kwame Nkrumah, the first president of the Republic of Ghana. Nkrumah was said to have smuggled tons of gold and profits from Ghana's cocoa industry out of the country and into the Swiss bank accounts. Nkrumah was forced out of his position as leader of Ghana in 1966. He set up the Oman Ghana Trust and made Blay-Miezah the sole beneficiary. Nkrumah died in exile in Romania in 1972.
For some crazy reason, despite Blay-Miezah being left a huge fortune, he couldn't seem to access the money. Apparently Nkrumah forgot to leave him the instructions or something. Blay-Miezah needed financial help to unlock the funds. To entice people into investing their money, he promised them a return of not less than 1,000 percent on their money. So if you gave him $1 million dollars, he would give you $10 million back.
Americans apparently found Blay-Miezah's offer too good to pass up on. It is estimated that he received $250 million dollars worldwide. Of the $250 million, $200 million came from Americans. Blay-Miezah and his American agent Robert Ellis swindled the city of Philadelphia for at least $18 million dollars from 300 investors. The scam is the biggest one in the history of the city. Ellis eventually was sent to prison for theft and conspiracy, but Blay-Miezah was able to flee the country.
Blay-Miezah passed away in 1992, but Ellis has been carrying the torch for him since getting released from prison. He has been bouncing back and forth between London and Ghana operating the scam. I have very strong reasons to believe that Ellis uses the alias Gregg Frazier. According to articles I have read from Ghana on the Internet, Gregg Frazier is noted as the main coordinator for the trust. In America, we are told that Robert Ellis is the main person running the trust. By the way, I forgot to mention that Blay-Miezah's initial $27 billion has grown to a tremendous $400 billion dollars in the Swiss accounts.
Ellis has a contact in America by the name of Robin Orth. Ms. Orth has been able to get many people to invest in the bogus trust over the years. She is very persuasive and has made many people lose money over the past several years. My own mother lost $10,000 dollars through a scam Ms. Orth got her involved in. For her efforts, Ellis has promised to give her $90 millions dollars once the money is released from the Swiss banks. In addition, Ellis has promised to purchase Hope Island which is right off the coast of the US Virgin Islands. Although he will own the island, Ms. Orth is to handle the operations on the island.
I personally brought it to the attention of Ms. Orth that she was involved in a scam. It was actually her own daughter that first brought the scam to my attention. Despite all the documentation and evidence over the years to support the fact that the Oman Ghana Trust Fund is simply a long-running scam, Ms. Orth refuses to believe it. I could care less if she wants to sit around and wait for her $90 million dollars and her island, but I have to stand up for the hard-working and innocent people that are getting ripped off. I know of a couple that recently charged $10,000 dollars on their credit card for Ellis.
Blay-Miezah's generosity has apparently spread to Ellis as he has promised millions of dollars to people all over the World. He claims to also have a heart for the people of Ghana and he has proposed a state of the art Industrial park to be developed on a 300 acre site in Senya Bereku, Central Region. As soon as the money is released from the Swiss banks, Ellis supposedly has many projects ready to roll with funding from the trust. I did a thorough search and I came up with nothing for the groups he plans to help, but maybe you'll have better luck. The following are some of these groups.
For further reading on the Oman Ghana Trust Fund, go to http://www.time.com/archive/preview/0,10987,961156,00.html or purchase the book Con Men----Fascinating Profiles of Swindlers and Rogues From The Files Of The Most Successful Broadcast In Television History by Mike Wallace and 60 Minutes Classics.