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Oklahoma Vice: Letter from inmate who posed as celebrity chef

Former Edmond resident Lee Michael Harrison once wooed investors by posing as a celebrity chef and tech entrepreneur, is now serving time in federal prison for wire fraud. Harrison recently wrote to me and claims mistreatment by his jailers at the Federal Transfer Center in Oklahoma City. 

"I do admit I deserve to be here, I am a criminal and have been for a long time," Harrison said in a hand-written letter from prison. "It was the family business and business has always been good."  

Harrison claims to have been mistreated in number of ways and said he plans to file a lawsuit against the Bureau of Prisons. 

He claims one prison guard smashed his face into a wall while he was handcuffed and also believes prison officials are withholding his mail. He also claims to have been denied visits by his attorney.  

Harrison claims he faced retaliation after filed complaints against prison staff. 

He claims to have been "verbally abused" at the hands of one prison guard, who calls him and other inmates at the Federal Transfer Center a very bad noun that describes one who performs a certain sexual act. The word can't be repeated here, sadly.

"There is little or no oversight against the BOP (Bureau of Prisons) and since it is almost impossible to hold the BOP accountable, then staff members act like they are invincible," Harrison wrote. ".....If there are any questions, please feel free to contact me, I will be in the Federal Transfer Center being treated like (expletive)." 

Harrison is set to be released in July, after serving a year and eight months after pleading guilty to three counts of wire fraud. That's not a lot of time, but Harrison insists he should be serving out  the remainder of his sentence in a halfway house. 

"Right now I should be at the halfway house, and more likely at home confinement," Harrison writes. "I could be taking care of my mother and sons, but no. I am still in prison simply because of BOP staff." 

I covered Harrison's case a few years ago, when he was accused of  conning investors  investors and their spouses after taking them on lavish trips to Las Vegas and New York. Harrison claimed to have  invented some confusing-sounding bit of tech called "Capture" that was supposed to prevent cell phones from dropping calls.  He told the investors he had sold Capture to a wealthy New Yorker for more than $6 billion, and tried to convince them by sending one a cell phone picture of a badly forged check for $6 billion.

Who writes a check for $6 billion? 

 

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Brianna Bailey

Brianna Bailey joined The Oklahoman in January 2013 as a business writer. During her time at The Oklahoman, she has walked across Oklahoma City twice, once north-to-south down Western Avenue, and once east-to-west, tracing the old U.S. Route 66.... Read more ›

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