A South Windsor man stole $679,000 from his grandparents. He has to pay it back. – Hartford Courant

A South Windsor was sentenced to prison Thursday for stealing approximately $679,000 from his grandparents, according to federal authorities.

Douglas Senerth, 33, was sentenced to 18 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, with the first six months of his supervised release in home confinement, according to federal authorities.

Federal authorities, citing court documents and statements made in court, said that, between 2011 and 2019, Senerth defrauded his grandmother and his late grandfather by falsely claiming to be a college student and inducing them to give him approximately $419,000 to pay for “nonexistent college tuition and other related expenses, and an additional approximately $260,000 by falsely claiming that he would invest their money into an investment fund run by one of his nonexistent professors.”

“As part of the scheme, Senerth created fraudulent college transcripts, letters and email accounts that he used to corroborate his lies,” federal authorities said in a statement.

U.S. District Judge Robert N. Chatigny also ordered Senerth to pay restitution of $679,944.

Senerth has been in state custody since February 10, 2021, when he was arrested on unrelated charges, the statement said.  He pleaded guilty in federal court to one count of wire fraud on Feb. 23, 2022.

Senerth’s state case is pending, the statement said, noting his federal sentence will begin when his state case is resolved.

The investigation was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Cherry.

The National Elder Fraud Hotline toll-free number is 833-FRAUD-11 (833-372-8311).

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