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Saturday, March 12, 2011

Man charged in NY with Dominican charity scam

Prosecutors say a Maryland man posed as a diplomat from the Dominican Republic in a fund-raising scam brought to light by a New York state senator.

Francisco Alberto Gautreaux (GOW'-troh) Calcano was under arrest Friday and awaiting arraignment on charges including grand larceny. It wasn't immediately clear whether the Frederick, Md., resident had a lawyer.

The Manhattan district attorney's office says the 42-year-old Calcano got more than $15,000 by falsely claiming he was raising money to ship fire trucks and other needed vehicles to the Dominican Republic. Prosecutors say he pretended to be a Dominican embassy staffer and even Ambassador Roberto B. Saladin.

Prosecutors say state Sen. Adriano (ah-dree-AH'-noh) Espaillat (ehs-PEYE'-aht) became suspicious and called authorities after Calcano contacted his office. Espaillat says he can't discuss details of the case.

Source: The Wall Street Journal

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