A Margate man accused of defrauding a nun and others of more than $1 million pleaded guilty Friday to 17 counts of wire fraud.

Adriano Sotomayor, 54, of Margate, admitted to defrauding nuns from the Dominican Sisters of the Rosary of Fatima and other victims between May 2009 and February 2012, according to a release from the office of the U.S. Attorney of eastern Pennsylvania.

Sotomayor fled authorities in November 2011 a day after he was indicted and was apprehended in Las Vegas on Feb. 27, 2012.

Authorities said he deceived an elderly nun into believing she was the beneficiary of an estate worth $2.1 million that had belonged to a New Jersey priest. Sotomayor told her to send him money to pay off the taxes and legal fees.

The nun and about 50 other victims transferred a total of $1.3 million to Sotomayor through three Atlantic City casinos and other locations, authorities said.

Sotomayor is scheduled to be sentenced in U.S. District Court on June 12. He faces between 70 and 188 months in prison.

Contact Joel Landau:


Follow Joel Landau on Twitter @landaupressofac