People of Minnesota, breathe easy.
Tales of Wal-Mart hit men, members of the Samoan mafia and the Dreaded Burrito Gang wandering the state have been confirmed as fiction. A 42-year-old woman admitted in federal court Thursday that she'd made it all up to squeeze more than $180,000 out of her Minnesota in-laws.
Laumatafiafia "Fia" Rosetter pleaded guilty to wire fraud in a scheme that left her in-laws living in fear and put the career of her husband, a Navy veteran of 18 years, in jeopardy. Rosetter's sister, Vatauomalao "Tau" Tafaoa, pleaded guilty last month to mail fraud. Charges of aiding and abetting extortion against Fia Rosetter's husband, Lt. Cmdr. David Rosetter, were dismissed last week. His attorney said he was on duty in Iraq when much of the story was concocted.
On Thursday, Fia Rosetter admitted that she was the main scriptwriter of an extortion tale that victimized Richard and Joan Rosetter, a farm couple from Granite Falls, and their daughter Luann.
It began at a family gathering in 2005. There, Rosetter's family was told that employees of Wal-Mart wanted to kill David for helping his sister-in-law take Wal-Mart to court for worker's compensation.
Later, the family was told that hit men from the Dreaded Burrito Gang had been hired to kill the entire family. Later, the Samoan mafia became involved -- first to protect the family from the Burritos and then later to kill David Rosetter. Why? Another lie, Fia Rosetter admitted: She said he'd disgraced her by having an affair -- and a baby -- with a stripper from Guam.
The stories were convincing enough that Rosetter's parents and sister lived in fear for more than a year. They sold possessions and a home. They wired money to Fia Rosetter and Tafaoa. Eventually, they became suspicious and called the FBI.
On Thursday, Fia Rosetter admitted that she'd done wrong. "I need to make sure that I pay my dues on this," she told U.S. District Judge Joan Ericksen. "I need to show my children."
James Walsh • 612-673-7428