Woman sentenced for defrauding her husband’s family
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 17, 2012
MINNEAPOLIS – Earlier today in federal court, a woman from Hawaii was sentenced for
defrauding her husband’s Minnesota family out of more than $180,000. United States District
Court Judge Joan N. Ericksen sentenced Laumatafiafia T. Rosetter, age 43, to 27 months in
prison on one count of wire fraud in connection to this crime. Rosetter was indicted on April 6,
2010, and pleaded guilty on May 12, 2011.
In her plea agreement, Rosetter admitted that from 2005 through June 22, 2007, she carried
out a scheme to defraud her in-laws, who live in Granite Falls. To that end, Rosetter sent the
couple a series of e-mails under fictitious names, detailing an outrageous fabricated story about
Wal-Mart hit men, a Mexican criminal gang, angry contractors, and the Samoan Mafia. The
story incited fear in the couple, causing them to wire money to the e-mail sender, as directed.
In a May 18, 2007, e-mail, for example, Rosetter posed as “Uncle Mo,” a member of the
Somoan Mafia, and demanded that the couple pay $164,000 or face “elimination.” As a result of
this scheme, the Minnesota couple was defrauded out of more than $180,000. Rosetter admitted
she received all but $15,000 of that amount, with the remainder going to her sister, who assisted
in the scam.
Rosetter’s sister, Vatauomalao Dorothea Tafaoa, age 38, of Hawaii, was also sentenced
today. Judge Ericksen sentenced her to 18 months on one count of wire fraud. Tafaoa, who was
also indicted on April 6, 2010, pleaded guilty on April 26, 2011.
In her plea agreement, Tafaoa admitted that between 2005 and June 22, 2007, she aided and
abetted others to commit wire fraud against her brother-in-law’s parents. For example, in an email
dated April 23, 2007, she also outlined a fictional story involving the Samoan mafia, which
included a threat against the couple’s son if the demand for money was not met. Tafaoa received
$15,000 for her role in the scheme.
This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was
prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chad A. Blumenfield and Clifford B. Wardlaw.
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