Church Deacon Sentenced In Time Share Scheme

Attorney General Spitzer today announced that Odalis R. Rosado, a deacon at St. Elizabeth's Church in Washington Heights, was sentenced to a term of 10 to 30 years in prison and ordered to pay $3.2 million in restitution by Manhattan Supreme Court Judge John Stackhouse. Earlier this month, Rosado, 57, was found guilty of participating in a scheme which defrauded hundreds of investors of more than $3 million, when he sold them worthless time share properties in the Dominican Republic.

In pronouncing the sentence, Judge Stackhouse called Rosado "a modern day Jekyll and Hyde" and sharply criticized the defendant for "destroying people's lives and dreams" and "leaving a trail of broken promises."

"This defendant wrongly used his position and stature in the community to take advantage of, and steal from, those who trusted him," Spitzer said. "He used the hopes and dreams of these hardworking New Yorkers for his own personal enrichment."

Rosado of 100 Cabrini Boulevard in Manhattan was found guilty of grand larceny, intentional real estate securities fraud and violating the trust fund provisions of the securities law. Testimony at the trial indicated that Odalis sold the time shares out of a Washington Heights office for units at Playa Bonita in Nagua, the Dominican Republic.

At today's sentencing, 11 people who were victimized by Rosado gave statements to the court. One victim said the only reason that she invested with the defendant was because of his position in the church. Others had approached her to invest in projects in the Dominican Republic but she didn't trust them.

The case was handled by Assistant Attorneys General Rhonda Greenstein and Viola Abbitt of Spitzer's Criminal Prosecutions Bureau under the supervision of Bureau Chief Janet Cohn.