Holy Rip-Off, Sister!

Couple charged with scamming nuns out of more than $800,000

Friday, Mar 20, 2009  |  Updated 8:16 PM CDT
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Chicago Couple Charged With Scamming Nuns

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Some of the ripped off nuns were "too embarrassed" to say how much they lost in the scam.

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Chicago Couple Charged With Scamming Nuns

Posing as Kenyan refugees, a Chicago couple bilked nuns out of $815,000 over about three years, federal court documents allege.
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A Chicago couple was charged Wednesday after allagedly scamming a group of nuns in Wisconsin and north suburban Des Plaines out of more than $800,000.
 
According to an FBI affidavit filed in Wisconsin Wednesday, Angela Martin-Mulu and Edward Bosire, both of 55 W. Chestnut St. in Chicago, visited the Discalced Carmelite Monastery in Pewaukee, Wisc. in December of 2004.

Martin-Mulu and Bosire, who are married, told the nuns they were siblings and in the country illegally, claiming they would be killed if they returned to their home country of Kenya.

The couple, who is in the United States legally, also claimed to be homeless and told the nuns they could not pay for food, medical bills, tuition expenses and “international fines,” the affidavit said.

From the beginning of 2005 to April of 2008, the Wisconsin-based monastery gave more than $815,000 to the couple, at least $24,000 of which was spent in casinos, the affidavit alleges.

The couple was charged with mail fraud, since the nuns sent some of the checks in the mail, but the couple also worked locally, according to the FBI.
 
Martin-Mulu and Bosire also accepted money from The Sisters of Our Lady of Mt. Carmel Carmelite Monastery in Des Plaines, according to the affidavit, in an amount the monastery was too “embarrassed” to disclose.

The affidavit claims nearly all of the information the couple told the monastery and community members in order to get money were false. The two were legal residents, had never enrolled at the university where they claimed to owe tuition and the small amount of medical bills they did have were unpaid.

The money could exceed the $815,000, according to the affidavit, which said the couple also accepted cash from community members in the Hudson, Wisconsin area.

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