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Matawan Man Admits Fleecing Elderly Terminal Cancer Patient for $1M

A Matawan 43-year-old can expect to spend the better part of eight years in New Jersey State Prison for stealing almost $1,000,000 from an elderly and terminally-ill Red Bank woman, along with her family’s home.

James J. Demitro, also known as Anthony Tatalia, pleaded guilty in Monmouth County Superior Court Friday. His sentencing is scheduled for June 7.

Demitro admitted conning the dementia- and cancer-riddled 87-year-old into believing that he was her nephew, using several lawyers to enhance the scheme.

He confessed to having the deed to the now-deceased woman’s home – built by her father and grandfather – transferred to his possession for a dollar. Demitro also admitted coordinating her will to name him as full beneficiary and executor.

At his August 9, 2011 arrest, investigators froze two bank accounts under Demitro’s control containing about $600,000, as well as a $150,000 Ferrari Spyder that authorities say was bought with the victim’s money.

What ensued was a five-month probe related to Demitro’s financial and real-estate transactions and estate planning by Monmouth County Adult Protective Services and the County Prosecutor’s office.

Demitro pleaded guilty to a second-degree charge of attempted impersonation, and seven counts of theft by deception – five in the second degree, two in the third degree.

Demitro’s eight-year sentence includes three-and-a-half years without parole eligibility.

He also agrees to a probate of the woman’s original 2005 will, forfeits the money in the frozen accounts as well as the Ferrari, and returns the house and all forfeiture proceeds to the victim’s estate.

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