DA: IMPOSTER OF DOMINICAN AMBASSADOR PLEADS GUILTY TO DONATION SCAM
Defendant Defrauded Dominican Immigrants Out of More Than $15,000
Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced the guilty plea of FRANCISCO ALBERTO GAUTREAUX CALCANO, 43, for defrauding victims in New York City and the Dominican Republic by purporting to be an employee of the Embassy of the Dominican Republic and the now former Dominican Ambassador to the United States and current Ambassador to the Organization of American States, Roberto Saladin. CALCANO pled guilty to Grand Larceny in the Third Degree and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree. He is expected to be sentenced on September 4, 2012.
“The defendant preyed upon the generosity of immigrants who wanted to help fellow Dominicans in need,” said District Attorney Vance. “My Office’s Immigrant Affairs Program is committed to protecting our city’s diverse communities from callous scam artists like this defendant. I want to remind the residents of New YorkCounty that the District Attorney’s Office is a safe place to report crime, regardless of your immigration status.”
The District Attorney’s Office’s Immigrant Affairs Hotline can be reached at 212-335-3600. Staff are available to speak with immigrants in many languages.
According to the defendant’s guilty plea and documents filed in court, between approximately October 25, 2010 and January 26, 2011, the defendant falsely told victims that he was collecting funds to transport donated utility and emergency vehicles to municipalities and charitable organizations in the Dominican Republic. CALCANO contacted a New York State Senator on December 30, 2010 and claimed to be calling on behalf of Ambassador Saladin regarding the need for funds to pay for the shipment of donated utility vehicles to the city of Salcedo in the Dominican Republic. The defendant was referred to a constituent of the State Senator who had contacts in Salcedo. The defendant then solicited funds from several people, including the mayor of Salcedo and the mayor’s brother, a New York City resident. Over the next few days, three victims wired the defendant nearly $12,000 via Western Union for the shipment of the donated vehicles to Salcedo. The mayor’s brother sent $3,915, a Bronx restaurant manager sent $2,400, and a Salcedo city official sent $5,230. In fact, the vehicles did not exist and the defendant is unknown to the Ambassador.
In October 2010, the defendant defrauded additional victims, including an orphanage in La Vega, Dominican Republic. The orphanage sent approximately $4,950 via Western Union to “Carlos Gomez Perez” for the shipment of a non-existent bus.
Assistant District Attorney Gloria Garcia prosecuted the case under the supervision of Special Prosecutions Bureau Chief Thomas Wornom and Deputy Bureau Chiefs Archana Rao and Judy Salwen. Supervising Investigator Michael Wigdor of the District Attorney’s Investigation Bureau provided assistance. District Attorney Vance also thanked State Senator Adriano Espaillat for his assistance and cooperation in the investigation.
FRANCISCO GAUTREAUX CALCANO, D.O.B., 10/10/68
· Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a Class D felony, one count
· Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a Class E felony, one count
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