Out of Africa: Stung by a Ghanaian smoothy

Stung by a Ghanaian smoothy

Meet John Ackah Blay-Miezah, native of Ghana, man of the world, a portly, elegant, globe-trotting charmer who seems to awe those who encounter him. "A very intelligent, cultured man," gushed one American admirer. "He knows every opera and can recognize a symphony from just a couple of notes. He is a nationally ranked chess player. He speaks nine languages." He is also, say authorities, a world-class swindler.

Philadelphia's newly elected district attorney, Ronald Castille, asserts that since 1972, Blay-Miezah and his American "agent," Robert Ellis, have swindled at least $18 million from about 300 investors in the Philadelphia area for a...

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