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Fraudster Hid for Years Among Nuns. Then One Got Wise

Fake sister couldn't keep her story straight: cops
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Feb 14, 2020 12:31 PM CST
Nuns wait for the arrival of Pope Francis in Cathedral of Palermo, Italy, on Sept. 15, 2018.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

(Newser) – A convicted fraudster convinced nuns that she was a kind sister in need of help during two years on the run, according to police in Italy. The 47-year-old woman, who has not been named, fled Sicily after she was convicted of fraud, impersonation, and theft and sentenced in absentia to two years and four months in prison in late 2017, per the London Times. Police now say she made her way to northern Italy, where she showed up at convents posing as an ill nun. She claimed to be the niece of a sister at one convent, where she stayed for a few days, per the Guardian. At a convent in Cuneo, she apparently claimed to be a mother superior, the title given to the head of a female religious community.

It was a real mother superior with "excellent investigative skills" who ultimately discovered the ruse last week, police say, per the Times and Local. The nun at Benedictine Nuns of Perpetual Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament in Gallarate near Milan apparently noticed that the fugitive's stories were "full of contradictions." Suspicious of the woman's identity, she called police, who interviewed the woman. Though cooperative, she was found in possession of a stolen ID card and appeared confused about the most basic details of her life story. Police say they later confirmed her true identity at a police station and will lay new charges of claiming false identity. (These nuns allegedly stole up to $500,000.)

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