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Press Release

Former Hillsborough Resident Sentenced For Wire Fraud

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Northern District of California
Prominent Local Auctioneer Engaged in Scam to Defraud Telecommunications Businesses

SAN JOSE – Resat Otus Nuri was sentenced to 24 months in prison and ordered to pay $562,149.90 in restitution for wire fraud, announced Acting United States Attorney Brian J. Stretch, U.S. Secret Service Special Agent in Charge David Thomas, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service Inspector in Charge Rafael Nuñez.  The sentence, handed down yesterday, follows the July 28, 2015, court proceedings in which the defendant—who was known to his victims by numerous aliases including Otus Resat Nuri, Resat Nuri Otus, and Nuri Resat Otus— pleaded guilty to a single count of wire fraud.

According to the plea agreement, Otus, 50, formerly a resident of Hillsborough, admitted he fraudulently induced a Texas company to wire him nearly $100,000 in connection with the sale of computer equipment he never intended to deliver.  At sentencing, the Court determined that the total amount of loss associated with the defendant’s criminal conduct was approximately $468,910. 

Otus was indicted by a federal grand jury on November 14, 2012.  He was charged with allegedly engaging in a scheme to defraud wholesale businesses and individuals to enter into agreements to buy or sell telecommunications equipment that he had neither the intention nor capacity to perform.  According to the indictment, in his communications to victims, Otus often falsely held himself out as having contacts at prominent technology firms, telling his potential victims that he was able to obtain good deals on valuable merchandise as a result of these purported contacts.  After receiving the funds from a victim buyer or the goods from a victim seller, Otus would fail to perform his part of the bargain as he had promised and refuse to return the funds or goods to his victims, offering them instead a pattern of excuses for his inability to perform.   Otus was charged with fifteen counts of wire fraud in violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343.  Under the plea agreement, Otus pleaded guilty to one of the counts in the indictment.

The sentence was handed down by the Honorable Lucy H. Koh, U.S. District Judge.  In handing down the sentence, Judge Koh found that Otus had chosen to engage in a disturbing pattern of fraud over a long period of time with real harm to victims.  The Court went to say that the harm to the victims was not just the loss of money, but the headaches and stress it imposed on their finances and their well-being. 

In addition to the prison term, Judge Koh also sentenced Otus to a three year period of supervised release.  The defendant will begin serving the sentence on May 11, 2016.

Assistant United States Attorney Timothy J. Lucey is prosecuting the case with the assistance of Laurie Worthen.  The prosecution is the result of an investigation by the U.S. Secret Service and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service.

Updated April 19, 2017

Financial Fraud