Beaufort News

Former Hilton Head man sentenced to nearly 5 years for fraud

James Sadler, 66, formerly of Hilton Head Island was sentenced Friday in federal court in Charleston to 57 months in prison and three years of parole on wire fraud and identity theft charges.

Senior U.S. District Judge Sol Blatt Jr. also ordered Sadler to pay $123,800 in restitution, according to a news release from U.S. Attorney William N. Nettles.

In 2006, Sadler claimed to be an expert financial adviser and persuaded a Hilton Head woman to take out a $100,000 second mortgage so he could invest the money in the stock market.

She wired $100,000 from her Hilton Head bank to a brokerage firm in New York. Sadler promised the victim he would invest her money in low-risk securities. Instead, he ordered checks and a debit card from the brokerage account and embezzled her money to buy more than $70,000 in gold coins.

Taking the rest of the victim's investment, Sadler fled to the island of Malta off the coast of Italy.

In July 2009, Sadler was arrested on the international warrant by the Maltese police. He was found with a forged British identification card, an Irish passport and a U.S. passport, officials said.