If you’re looking to get put up in a hotel because your house is a wreck, why not scam the New York state government into the footing the bill? Caterina Curatolo was arrested yesterday for defrauding the state out of $87,000 in Superstorm Sandy relief money. On top of an unnecessary hotel stay, Curatolo spent the money on shoes, clothes, electronics, and checking her credit score, according to the criminal complaint.
In total Curatolo spent 269 days staying at hotels paid for by the state, even though an investigation determined that the damage to her house in Fresh Meadows, Queens, predated the October 2012 storm.
Curatolo describes herself as “Rev. Caterina Curatolo” on her LinkedIn profile. Her résumé subhead would make any prospective employer pant:
And her Facebook profile lists fluency in no fewer than seven languages: French, English, Spanish, Italian, Brazilian Portuguese, Sicilian, and Hebrew.
Apparently this polymath has yet to master one thing: Running a con and getting away with it. She is scheduled to appear before a judge on September 23.
Send your story tips to the author, Raillan Brooks.