A Matawan man admitted he posed as the nephew of a terminally ill Red Bank woman to steal nearly $1 million and her home from her, Acting Monmouth County Prosecutor Christopher Gramiccioni announced Friday.
James J. Demitro, 43, also known as Anthony Tatalia admitted his crimes Thursday before Superior Court Judge Francis J. Vernoia, acknowledging that he pretended to be the nephew of an 87-year-old woman with dementia and terminal cancer when he stole just under
$1 million and the family home she lived in since 1925 a home built by her father and grandfather, Gramiccioni said in a press release.
Demitro pleaded guilty to attempted impersonation, five counts of theft by deception, and two counts of theft by deception. He faces up to eight years in prison at sentencing, scheduled for June 7 in Freehold.
From the announcement:
Demitro was arrested on August 19, 2011 following a five-month investigation conducted by the Monmouth County Prosecutors Office and Monmouth County Adult Protective Services (APS) related to suspicious real estate, financial and estate planning transactions undertaken by him.
The investigation revealed Demitro obtained nearly $1 million by deception from the victim while posing as her nephew. Demitro also enlisted the services of multiple attorneys to prepare legal instruments to further his scheme to defraud his terminally-ill victim. Demitro admitted he coordinated the preparation of a deed transferring ownership of the victims Red Bank home to himself for $1, and the preparation of a Last Will and Testament for the victim naming him as full beneficiary and executor of the estate.
On the day of his arrest, two bank accounts maintained by Demitro containing approximately $600,000 taken from the victim were frozen. Also seized was a luxury Italian sports car, a Ferrari Spyder, that was earlier purchased by Demitro with approximately $150,000 taken from the victim.
In accordance with a plea agreement, Demitro now faces a custodial sentence of 8 years in New Jersey State Prison with a 3 ½-year period of parole ineligibility. Demitro will also consent to the probate of the victims genuine Last Will and Testament from 2005; will consent to the forfeiture of the monies in the frozen bank accounts and the Ferrari Spyder; and execute a deed turning the real estate back over to the victims estate. All the forfeiture proceeds will be returned to the victims estate.
County property records show a $1 sale of a home on Harrison Avenue to James J. Demitro in April, 2011.