Hawaiian woman sentenced for defrauding Minnesota in-laws

  • Article by: NICOLE NORFLEET , Star Tribune
  • Updated: February 18, 2012 - 7:33 AM

In an end to a bizarre tale, a woman from Hawaii was sentenced Friday in federal court to more than two years in prison for defrauding her husband's Minnesota family out of more than $180,000.

Laumatafiafia T. Rosetter, 43, was sentenced to 27 months in prison on one count of wire fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office. She was indicted in April 2010 and pleaded guilty last May.

In her plea agreement, Rosetter admitted that from 2005 through June of 2007 she engaged in a scheme to defraud her in-laws, who live in Granite Falls. She sent the couple a series of emails using fictitious names describing "an outrageous fabricated story about Wal-Mart hit men, a Mexican criminal gang, angry contractors, and the Samoan Mafia."

In one e-mail, Rosetter posed as a member of the Samoan Mafia called "Uncle Mo" and demanded that the couple pay $164,000 or face "elimination."

Being fearful, the couple wired money.

Rosetter admitted that she received more than $180,000 minus $15,000 that went to her sister, Vatauomalao Dorothea Tafaoa, 38, of Hawaii.

Tafaoa was also sentenced Friday to 18 months in prison on one count of wire fraud. She pleaded guilty last April.

In one e-mail, she created a fictional story involving the Samoan mafia and threatened the couple's son if money wasn't given.

Charges of aiding and abetting extortion against Rosetter's husband Lt. Cmdr. David Rosetter were dismissed last May. His attorney said the Navy veteran was on duty in Iraq when much of the scheme was concocted.

Nicole Norfleet • 612-673-4495; Twitter: @stribnorfleet

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