A Chicago man who along with his wife scammed more than $1 million from monasteries and religious groups was sentenced Friday to 39 months in federal prison.
Edward Bosire, 40, and his wife, Angela Martin-Mulu, 36, posed as siblings who had fled political oppression in Africa, were in the United States illegally, and needed money for medical bills and other expenses. Among the couple’s victims were the nuns at the Pewaukee Discalced Carmelite monastery, who gave the defendants more than $800,000.
Much of the money was spent in casinos, according to prosecutors.
Each pleaded guilty last summer and agreed to pay nearly $1 million in restitution. Martin-Mulu was sentenced earlier this month to 41 months in prison.
Bosire’s attorney, Joshua Uller, had argued in court documents that Bosire played only a minor role in the frauds, because it was his wife who had most of the contacts with the victim organizations, often without his knowledge.
At sentencing, Bosire expressed remorse and regret over the impact of the couple’s actions, Uller said.
The couple had met and married in Kenya before coming to the U.S. in 1999, according to the documents, and Martin-Mulu had sought political asylum here due to fear of female genital mutilation in Kenya. Bosire had a job, and the couple had two apartments in the Chicago area. Each could face deportation after they serve their sentences.