Rep. Julius Berrian, Dr. William Barnes Wrapped in Scholarship Fraud


Monrovia – Montserrado County District #9 Representative, Julius Berrian, has been implicated in a fraudulent scholarship scheme, taking huge sums of money from Liberians under the pretext that they will be given visas and academic scholarship at Point Park University in the United States.

Report by Lennart Dodoo – [email protected]

Documents in the possession FrontPageAfrica reveals that Representative Julius Berrian has allegedly been acting in cahoots with one William Barnes, who is a resident of the United States.

Rep. Berrian has, however, denied involvement and said he does not know any William Barnes in the United States. He further told FrontPage Africa that he only runs scholarship programs in Liberian universities and does not have any in the diaspora.

The Victim’s Complaint

One of the aggrieved victims who financed two of her siblings through the fraudulent scheme wrote the Editor of FrontPageAfrica:

 “Hi Mr. Sieh,

I am Angela Harris Moldestad, A Liberian residing in the United States.

I believe that I have been a victim of fraud by someone who claimed that he was representing an organization called YPP-Liberia for international scholarship in the United States of America.

Sometimes in May of 2016 I got a call from Dr. William Barnes of the USA, informing me that the YPP organization was offering scholarships to students who wanted to advance themselves in various discipline of study.

Mr. Barnes explained to me that he was working for YPP-Liberia in conjunction with District 10 under the Leadership of Honorable Julius Berrian and the Point Park University of Pittsburg, PA in the USA.

Dr. Barnes told me that each student had to pay [US$] 4000.00 each and the scholarship would had covered the rest of the money.

I deposited 3400.00 USD in Dr. Barnes US account and paid 400.00 USD for service fees and [US$] 330 for visa fees for my siblings to benefit from this venture.

I also have other students from Liberia who has wired money to Mr. Barnes via MoneyGram for this same fraudulent act.

All of the applicants, on August 15, 2016, sat an interview at the US Embassy in Monrovia and they were all denied.

The problem that I have with this whole transaction is that this entire stuff was made up. I sent an email to the Young Professional Program of Liberia and they are not even aware of this entire process.

Exploiting people for little or nothing has being Mr. Barnes habit and my mission is to expose him in every way possible to avoid other people been a victim of such fraud.

I have documentations to substantiate my claim.

I can reach @ (deleted for the privacy of the victim) or via my personal email (deleted for the privacy of the victim)

Thanks for your consideration

Before venting out to FrontPageAfrica, Ms. Moldestad, wrote the Executive Director of the President Young Professional Program (PYPP), H. Zaizay informing him of the Young Professional Program-Liberia (YPP-Liberia) and its scholarship offer at the Point Park University of Pittsburg, PA in the USA.

Zaizay in his response to her inquiry clarified the difference between PYPP and YPP-Liberia and said the PYPP which is legitimate and administered by the Ministry of State does not have any link with the said university.

PYPP is a prestigious and competitive two-year program that recruits and places recent Liberian university graduates in important government roles and provides them with training and mentorship as they support the government’s top priorities.

As part of the well-designed fraudulent scheme, the perpetrators wrote a letter to put the beneficiaries under the pretext that YPP-Liberia was seeking their visas.

The letter bears the purported logo of the YPP-Liberia and signed by one James Monibi, Esq, claiming to be the program coordinator/District 10, Montserrado County.

It Reads:

To Whom It May Concern

Dear Sir/Madam,

I write to introduce to you and request student visas in favor of the following students who have been awarded Full Academic Scholarship to study at Point Park University.

The students were competitively selected and recommended by the District Development Project of the Montserrado County District 10 offices of Hon. Julius F. Berrian. The students in group one are:

Myria Kwia, Ben Blamah, Musa Sombai, Aylonso Davis, Emmanuel Harris and Rachel Harris.

The program was negotiated by the office of Hon. Julius Berrian and seeks to benefit constituents, volunteers, and employees of the district, fully funded by YPP International…”

Representative Berrian and Barnes were copied in the letter.

Being convinced by the content of this letter and other conversations she had with Barnes, Ms. Moldestad went ahead made series of payments as per the request of Barnes. The payments were intended for visas and their financial obligation towards the scholarship.

However, Point Park University clarified that at no time did the university receive any monetary payment for, Emmanuel and Rachel Harris who are siblings of Ms. Moldestad.

The university further clarified that each student submitted applications online through the application portal which is free of charge. Their application documents, according the university, were uploaded electronically to its system for admission purposes and both students were granted

ed admission to the university for the Fall 2016 semester.

“Since they were cohort students that were to be awarded scholarship through the Liberian Young Professional Program led by William Barnes, tuition deposits of $350.00 for Fall 2016 were waived.

“At no time did Point Park University receive any funds for the purpose of tuition of payments for any student connected with this venture through The Young Professionals Program or William Barnes, who was presenting himself as Liberian government representative.

 “William Barnes has no professional association with Point Park University, nor was he ever working to represent our institution domestically or abroad,” the university clarified.

The university’s communication was signed by Rebecca A. Lee, International Student Services, and Enrollment, Director.