New Jersey Man Sentenced to 18 Years for Scamming Nuns
|U.S. Attorney’s Office August 15, 2013|
PHILADELPHIA—Adriano Sotomayor, 55, of Margate, New Jersey, was sentenced today to 18 years in prison for 17 counts of wire fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud members of the Dominican Sisters of the Rosary of Fatima (“Sisters of Fatima”) and others of more than $1 million. Sotomayor carried out his fraud scheme between May 2009 and February 2012. He was indicted on November 15, 2011, and went on the run. He was captured by the FBI Fugitive Squad in Las Vegas, Nevada, on February 27, 2012, and pleaded guilty to his fraud scheme on February 22, 2013.
Sotomayor launched his scheme by causing an elderly nun to believe that she had been named in a will as the beneficiary of an estate estimated at approximately $2.1 million. In order to lure the elderly nun into this scheme, the defendant caused his victim to believe that the man who notified her about the will was a Catholic priest from New Jersey, and the testator was one of his parishioners. Sotomayor fraudulently induced the elderly nun to begin sending money to him in Atlantic City, New Jersey, by telling her that she needed to pay taxes, processing fees, and various legal fees associated with the fictitious will. He went on to target other victims in Levittown and Philadelphia who initially sent money to him on the elderly nun’s behalf. Sotomayor caused at least 50 victims to send a total of at least $1.3 million from Pennsylvania and elsewhere to him in New Jersey over a two-year period. The defendant received wire transfers at the Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, the Showboat Hotel and Casino, and Bally’s Park Place, among other places.
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Court Judge Eduardo C. Robreno ordered restitution in the amount of $1,5506,533, three years of supervised release, and a $1,700 special assessment.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Karen M. Klotz.