Peter Senese who defrauded Indian parent by assuring return of abducted child charged with wire fraud in New York


September 29, 2016

Source: americanbazaaronline.com

Senese ran the I Care Foundation.

NEW YORK: Peter Senese, 49, the founding director of the I CARE Foundation (I CARE’), which advertises itself as a “self-funded non-profit organization dedicated to preventing child abduction and trafficking”, was charged with one count of wire fraud, earlier this week.

peter-senese-icare

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Diego Rodriguez, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, announcing the said since at least 2013, Senese allegedly defrauded parents whose children were victims of international abduction by falsely representing that he, working with the worldwide resources of I CARE, could rescue their children and return to them to the United States in exchange for money for his purported rescue operation expenses.

peter_senese_chasing_the_cyclone

“As alleged, Peter Senese fed a pack of lies to desperate parents by telling them, among other things, that he and his company could, for a price, locate and recover their internationally kidnapped children. In fact, he could do no such thing, but that didn’t stop him from allegedly repeatedly reaching out to the parents for more money to fund his non-existent rescue mission. This type of alleged fraud that preys on the especially vulnerable and desperate is a top priority for us, and we will work to ensure those who commit these outrageous crimes are held to strict account,” said Bharara.

Through his websites (www.stopchildabduction.org and www.petersenese.com) and elsewhere, Senese, of Brooklyn, New York, promotes I CARE as “a self-funded not-for-profit 501-C-3[sic] corporation” that “does not accept outside financial contributions and has reunited numerous internationally kidnapped children while preventing an exponentially larger number of children from abduction,” reported the Justice Department.

Senese also represents that I CARE includes “some of the leading figures in the world dedicated to protecting children from abduction and trafficking” and that “there have been many, many children of international parental child abduction who have been reunited and returned home due directly to the great efforts, financial, legal, and investigative resources” of I CARE.

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Between at least November 2013 and February 2015, Senese specifically represented to victims that he could recover their children from other countries by working with a team of former members of the U.S. Army component Delta Force, of which Senese claimed to have also been a member.

Senese repeatedly represented to one victim (“V-1”) that he could recover V-1’s child (Child-1) from India in a matter of weeks, but that he needed a few thousand dollars from V-1 to cover his operational expenses. In the months that followed, he repeatedly represented that he was very close to recovering Child-1, appeared on a local radio program with V-1, and sent numerous text messages and emails stating, in part, that he was either in India or an unspecified “remote location” and that Child-1 would be returned to the United States in a matter of hours or days.

During the same period, Senese repeatedly asked for additional funds, typically ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 per month to cover his operational expenses.

In fact, Senese has not traveled outside of the country for years. While Senese represented that he was in foreign locations, he was actually in Miami, Florida; New York, New York; or Los Angeles, California. He also has never had any affiliation with the United States military, and the children Senese promised to recover have not been recovered.

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FBI arrests fraudster Peter Thomas Senese after he steals from the parents of abducted children


April 1 , 2015

Source: FBI.gov

Preet Bharara, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and Diego Rodriguez, Assistant Director-in-Charge of the New York Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation (“FBI”), today announced charges against PETER SENESE AKA Peter Thomas Senese, the Founding Director of the I CARE Foundation (“I CARE”), which advertises itself as a “self-funded non-profit organization dedicated to preventing child abduction and trafficking.”

PeterThomas_Senese

Since at least 2013, SENESE allegedly defrauded parents whose children were victims of international abduction by falsely representing that he, working with the worldwide resources of I CARE, could rescue their children and return to them to the United States in exchange for money for his purported rescue operation expenses. SENESE was arrested this morning in Brooklyn, New York, and will be presented later today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Gabriel W. Gorenstein.

11200694-chasing-the-cyclone-by-peter-thomas

Manhattan U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said: “As alleged, Peter Senese fed a pack of lies to desperate parents by telling them, among other things, that he and his company could, for a price, locate and recover their internationally kidnapped children. In fact, he could do no such thing, but that didn’t stop him from allegedly repeatedly reaching out to the parents for more money to fund his non-existent rescue mission. This type of alleged fraud that preys on the especially vulnerable and desperate is a top priority for us, and we will work to ensure those who commit these outrageous crimes are held to strict account.”

FBI Assistant Director Diego Rodriguez said: “As alleged, Senese’s supposed self-funded corporation to prevent child abduction and trafficking turned out to be nothing more than a ruse. He allegedly preyed on the anguish of suffering families, left them open to be victimized a second time, and accepted their payments to fund his personal venture without ever having access to the worldwide resources of which he spoke. Fortunately, his journey ends today. The FBI and our law enforcement partners often work hand in hand on cases involving the mysterious disappearance of a child, and we will continue to protect the welfare of those faced with this terrible tragedy. ”

According to the allegations in the Complaint filed today in Manhattan federal court:

Through his websites (www.stopchildabduction.org and http://www.petersenese.com) and elsewhere, SENESE promotes I CARE as “a self-funded not-for-profit 501-C-3[sic] corporation” that “does not accept outside financial contributions and has reunited numerous internationally kidnapped children while preventing an exponentially larger number of children from abduction.” SENESE also represents that I CARE includes “some of the leading figures in the world dedicated to protecting children from abduction and trafficking” and that “there have been many, many children of international parental child abduction who have been reunited and returned home due directly to the great efforts, financial, legal, and investigative resources” of I CARE.

Between at least November 2013 and February 2015, SENESE specifically represented to victims that he could recover their children from other countries by working with a team of former members of the U.S. Army component Delta Force (“Delta Force”), of which SENESE claimed to have also been a member. SENESE repeatedly represented to one victim (“V-1”) that he could recover V-1’s child (“Child-1”) from India in a matter of weeks, but that he needed a few thousand dollars from V-1 to cover his operational expenses. In the months that followed, SENESE repeatedly represented that he was very close to recovering Child-1, appeared on a local radio program with V-1, and sent numerous text messages and e-mails stating, in part, that he was either in India or an unspecified “remote location” and that Child-1 would be returned to the United States in a matter of hours or days. During the same period, SENESE repeatedly asked for additional funds, typically ranging from $3,000 to $5,000 per month to cover his operational expenses.

In fact, SENESE has not traveled outside of the country for years. While SENESE represented that he was in foreign locations, he was actually in Miami, Florida; New York, New York; or Los Angeles, California. SENESE also has never had any affiliation with the United States military, and the children SENESE promised to recover have not been recovered.

* * *

SENESE, 49, of Brooklyn, New York, is charged with one count of wire fraud, which carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison. The statutory maximum sentence is prescribed by Congress and is provided here for informational purposes, as any sentencing of the defendant will be determined by the judge.

Mr. Bharara praised the outstanding work of the FBI for its investigative efforts and ongoing support and assistance with the case.

The prosecution is being handled by the Office’s General Crimes Unit. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jaimie L. Nawaday is in charge of the case.

The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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Cabbie Eugene Pothy reunited with son stuck in international custody fight


Source: NY Daily News

Boy, 10, was living in Ivory Coast with relatives since 2003.

WHEN THE SON he had not seen for eight years stepped into the arrivals hall at Kennedy Airport, cabbie Eugene Pothy sobbed and gripped the railing.

He had waited so long for this moment — the end of a wrenching international custody battle — and when he finally hugged the boy, it seemed he might never let go.

As that first embrace ended, 10-year-old Philippe-Emmanuel looked up at a father he knew only from photographs, smiled shyly, and asked in French, “Why are you crying?“

“Just for you,“ Pothy said.

Pothy hadn’t seen Philippe-Emmanuel since the boy’s mother sent him to the Ivory Coast to visit her relatives in 2003. He never returned.

On Tuesday, the cabbie kept shaking his head in disbelief that the ordeal had a happy ending.

“Eight years. Eight years,” he said.

“This is all I have been hoping for for eight years. The day has come.”

Philippe-Emmanuel seemed taken aback by the outpouring.

With his dad translating for him, he said he felt “happy.”

“I recognize my dad from photos. From Facebook, I knew him,” he said.

Pothy, 46, who lives in East Orange, N.J., and works in the city, first told his story of losing his son to the Daily News last November.

After the boy did not return from Africa, Pothy failed for years to convince the child’s mother and her family that he should be raised in America.

Last spring, he contacted the State Department, which opened a case but told him it would be difficult for them to take action, because the Ivory Coast isn’t part of the Hague Convention on International Parental Child Abduction.

The agency also cautioned him against flying there to get the boy himself, if he could get a U.S. judge to sign a order, because foreign courts often do not recognize American custody rules.

The case took a promising turn when Pothy met with self-styled anti-abduction activist Peter Thomas Senese before a December hearing on the case in New Jersey Superior Court.

Pothy said Senese brokered an agreement with the boy’s mother, Judith Any-Grah, that stipulated his return.

Read: I Care Foundation helps create a miracle

The judge approved it and Any-Grah’s family overseas complied.

The boy will now live with Pothy, who already has residential custody of his 6-year-old sister, but his mom will have joint custody.

Any-Grah was also at the airport Tuesday, waiting to see the boy she had not seen in eight years, either.

She told The News that when she sent Philippe-Emmanuel to live with her sister in 2003, she was overwhelmed as a mom and college student.

“I asked her to raise him for me,” she said.

She claimed Pothy agreed it was best at the time. He says he expected his son to be gone only six months.

“Now, I can do my job,” he said. “I can be his dad.”

epearson@nydailynews.com

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