The Investigators: Master P Impostor - Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

The Investigators: Master P Impostor

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Alisa R. Harris Alisa R. Harris

By Andy Wise - bio | email

SOUTH MEMPHIS (WMC-TV) - State officials have requested a federal investigation of a woman who is falsely representing rap artist Master P to promote a dubious jobs program for ex-felons and welfare recipients.

"This is crazy," said Master P, aka Percy Miller (http://www.trutanksoldiers.com/. "She needs to be stopped."

According to her own records, Alisa R. Harris used a mail-order minister ordainment to obtain legitimate tax status as a "church." The church's address on Harris's tax records is the address of a Memphis apartment complex where she once lived.

Under the guise of a "church," Harris, who now stays at a boarding house in the Westwood neighborhood, has launched several websites touting her "Corey Miller Food Foundation."

The sites are littered with references to a partnership with Master P and with rap videos of Master P's brother Corey Miller, aka C Murder. Corey Miller is in a Louisiana prison serving a life sentence for murder.

In rambling language, Harris explained to Action News 5 that her "foundation" hires ex-felons and welfare recipients at $10 an hour to use their own phones at their own homes and call citizens right out of the phone book to solicit cash donations.

"I'm doing this as something I am doing from my heart," said Harris. "And I'm creating hope for people that don't have any."

But an Action News 5 investigation of Harris and her organization found no licensure or credentials. 

Neither she nor her "foundation" is a registered solicitor with the Tennessee Department of State, although her group's 2009 tax return lists a net income of more than $150,000.

Leaders of each of the 12 city, county, state and non-profit organizations she lists on one of her websites as her "referral agencies" said they are not affiliated in any way with her.

"No. Absolutely not. We are not working with her," said Avery Duncan of Youth Villages (www.youthvillages.org), a Memphis-based organization that helps transition troubled youth to successful employment. "Harris called us seeking referrals, but I couldn't validate what she was saying, and I just had concerns."

Duncan's biggest concerns are how Harris uses pejorative terms like "crackheads" and "pimps" as categories for job applicants -- and how she requests the last four digits of their Social Security numbers, their dates of birth and their food stamp case numbers.

"I need those for auditing purposes," Harris said. "We've hired 116 ex-felons (and people on public assistance) for telephone jobs."

One of her "hires" is Auriel Gregory of Midtown Memphis. Gregory said the Tennessee Community Services Agency (http://www.tncsa.com/) referred her to Harris's organization for work and for community service credits to earn her welfare benefits.

"We raise money for children, for school supplies," Gregory said in an interview with Action News 5, although she could not articulate how much or how it's allocated.

Later in the interview, Gregory admitted that in two months working for Harris, she hasn't raised any funds or received any payment.

"No, not yet," Gregory said. "People say they're going to donate, but they haven't."

Meredith Hennessy, a community partner with TNCSA, said Harris's legitimate tax status and assumed partnership with Master P basically duped the agency into referring clients to her jobs program.

"Within 30 days of our relationship with her, things started to pop up that didn't seem right," Hennessy said in a phone interview with Action News 5. "We severed our ties with her, and we'll be working to remove our name from anything that she is affiliated with."

Tonya Meeks, spokesperson for Memphis Mayor AC Wharton, confirmed that in September, the city's parks commission kicked Harris out of a job fair and school supply giveaway at the Glenview Community Center, 1141 South Barksdale St., when it determined she was falsely representing Master P as a partner of her organization.

"At one time, he was working with this particular organization," Harris said.

"I have never met her," said Master P. "Don't know who she is."

"This is a reputable program," Harris insisted. "In fact, I went down and talked to the entire staff at pretrial services about my jobs program."

Lawrence Denton, supervisor for Shelby County's Pretrial Services, said Harris did request to be a vendor at the agency's job fair for ex-felons. Denton said his agency rejected her request.

"We just felt that she was not credible," said Denton. "Some of the things she was saying, we just didn't buy into, like her pitch about being involved with the rap artist Master P. It just didn't sit well with us."

After Action News 5 informed the Tennessee Department of Human Services that Harris listed it as one of her "referral agencies," department spokesperson Vince Troia disavowed any connection to Harris or to her Corey Miller Food Foundation.

"We referred this matter to the federal Food and Nutrition Service for review," said Troia in an e-mail to Action News 5. "We would hope their Inspector General will investigate, though we can't address when or if it gets pursued by FNS."

Master P said he's considering legal action to remove any reference to him or to his brother from Harris's websites.

"Just to have somebody use your name and don't even know you, it's not even fair," he said. 

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