Former Columbus Urban League Official Pleads Guilty to Fraud and Identity Theft

Date Published: 
September 20, 2013
News Type: 
Press Releases

COLUMBUS, OHIO– Ovell Harrison, 55, of Columbus, Ohio pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft in connection with his position as Director of Education Services at the Columbus Urban League between 2004 and 2010.

Carter M. Stewart, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, James Vanderberg, Special Agent-in-Charge of the U.S. Department of Labor – Office of the Inspector General Labor Racketeering and Fraud Investigations, Barry McLaughlin, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General (HUD), and Columbus Police Chief Kim Jacobs announced the pleas entered today before U.S. District Judge Algenon L. Marbley.

According to testimony by an investigator with the Department of Labor, Harrison used his computers at the Columbus Urban League to prepare and submit false invoices to the Urban League. Harrison made it appear that invoices were payment for services contractors had provided to the Urban League. The contractors were unwitting persons Harrison knew personally. The Urban League processed the invoices, generated checks and either left the checks for hand pick-up by Harrison or mailed the checks to a mailbox Harrison rented. Harrison deposited the checks into one of three bank accounts he controlled. Harrison obtained $85,181.25 through the scheme.