New Jersey Man Sentenced In Nun Fraud Case
In August 2013, 55-year-old Adriano Sotomayor of Margate was sentenced to 18 years for his part in a wide-ranging fraud scheme. According to the FBI, Mr. Sotomayor posed as a Catholic priest and convinced an elderly nun in Puerto Rico that she was the beneficiary of a $2.1 million estate, and that she needed to send money for “processing fees” and other costs. The scam soon expanded to other nuns in Philadelphia and Levittown. Between 2009 and 2011, Mr. Sotomayor’s victims sent him at least $1.3 million.
After he was indicted in November 2011, Mr. Sotomayor eluded prosecutors until he was captured in Las Vegas in February 2012. He pled guilty to 17 counts of wire fraud in February 2013. In addition to the prison sentence, he was ordered to pay $1.5 million in restitution and a $1,700 fine as well as to serve three years of supervised release after his prison term.
According to 18 U.S.C. 1343, the elements of wire fraud are:
- A scheme to defraud money by using false pretenses
- Knowing and willful participation in the scheme
- Use of interstate wire communications
New Jersey white-collar criminal defense attorneys can urge a number of defenses, based on the facts of your case:
- The government’s charges are barred by the statute of limitations — by the time the alleged crime is reported and investigated and an indictment is returned, the five-year statute of limitations has often expired.
- The defendant acted in good faith — a person who acts with good faith cannot have criminal intent.
- There is insufficient evidence to prove guilt beyond any reasonable doubt.
Wire fraud is a very serious crime and requires a very serious criminal defense attorney. Call us for your free consultation.