Hartford man charged with defrauding family, friends out of $400K

PROVIDENCE – Robert Oathout, a 35-year-old resident of Hartford, Conn., has been arraigned in U.S. District Court for the District of Rhode Island on charges of wire fraud of at least $398,000. The victims he allegedly defrauded are his family and friends.
According to court documents, it is alleged that Oathout falsely represented to the victims that he needed money to pay for a botched jaw surgery, drug tests and counseling for the subsequent result of the surgery making him addicted to pain killers. He falsely claimed that an attorney represented him in a civil suit against an Hartford medical facility and that he and his attorney could not discuss the suit and settlement with others for they were bound by “confidentiality.”
He is further alleged to have falsely promised his victims reimbursement from the facility once he collected the $1 million settlement as agreed upon.
Between Sept. 27, 2013, and Dec. 22, 2015, Oathout is said to have fraduently induced friends and family to transfer money to pay for his medical expenses. According to court documents, the unspecified medical facility had no record of Oathout’s procedure and no settlement was due to him. Allegedly, the transferred money was used to pay for drugs and gambling debts. His victims range from 67 to 87 years old.
Wire transfers of different sums of money were made to Oathout before, during and after he was incarnated at the Donald W. Wyatt Detention Center in Central Falls for an unrelated case of federal drug charges. Sometimes, the indictment says, Oathout had the victims send money to other inmates’ prison accounts in order to receive funds greater than what the victims were allowed to transfer into his account at one time.
United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha and Special Agent in Charge of the FBI Boston Field Division Harold B. Shaw announced the arraignment Friday. Oathout is charged with eight counts of wire fraud. He has pleaded not guilty.
Oathout, who has been in custody since Thursday, has been ordered to be released, following the terms of his current federal probation imposed at his previous drug conviction.
Up to 20 years imprisonment, a fine of up to $250,000 and up to 3 years of supervised release are the penalties that Oathout faces.

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