The secret life of Dennis SanSeverino arrests and real estate scams
After realizing that she’d been taken by a con artist, Trish Rynn started investigating Dennis SanSeverino. He was not at all the man she thought he was.
First of all, SanSeverino already had a fiancÃ©. He’d been dating a Connecticut woman since 1993. In fact, he was living with the woman throughout his entire relationship with Trish Rynn.
Then she discovered that her fiancÃ© had a criminal record. SanSeverino was arrested on July 22, 1999 in connection with a scam at the Foxwoods Casino, in which he made purchases in the casino’s retail stores using complimentary points that belonged to other players. SanSeverino was found guilty of conspiracy and larceny on October 30, 2001—just as he started buying Rolex watches with Rynn’s American Express card—and sentenced to three years probation.
SanSeverino committed the offense on January 26, 1999. Shortly after that, he sold his house at 15 Hamilton Court, North Haven, Connecticut, to his ex-wife, Marie SanSeverino. Although he didn’t own it, SanSeverino continued to live in the house—and supposedly put it up for sale in order to repay Rynn.
Six months after SanSeverino got the money for selling Rynn’s home in Ocean City, he started aggressively buying, refinancing and selling properties. He bought 15 Hamilton Court back from his ex-wife, along with another property. He bought the North Wildwood property—a condominium at 515 E. 11th Street—and refinanced it three times in 16 months.
Indicted in New Jersey
Rynn, in the meantime, went to the police. In June, 2005, the Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office started investigating SanSeverino for the money he took from her.
Then on July 12, 2005, SanSeverino was arrested for another casino crime—this one in Atlantic City. He cashed two cashiers’ checks—for $25,000 each—at a casino. But SanSeverino had already falsely reported the checks stolen to Commerce Bank, and put stop payments on them. When the casino presented the checks to the bank for payment, they were denied.
On September 22, 2005, SanSeverino was indicted for theft by deception for the Atlantic City casino crime.
On October 15, 2005—having refinanced all his properties multiple times—SanSeverino declared bankruptcy.
Three days later, on October 18, 2005, SanSeverino was indicted for theft by deception for taking more than $275,000 from Trish Rynn. The Cape May County Prosecutor’s Office later determined that the money SanSeverino stole from Rynn added up to $318,240.
Ordered to make restitution
SanSeverino originally pleaded not guilty to both crimes. But as his trial dates approached, he sold two of his properties to the Andy Ross Group, professional mortgage planners based in Madison, Connecticut:
- On May 25, 2006, the condominium at 515 E. 11th St., North Wildwood, New Jersey, was sold for $25,000. SanSeverino had claimed the property, with a value of $720,000, as exempt in his bankruptcy.
- A week later, on June 1, 2006, the condominium at 70 Heather Croft was sold for $20,000. It had previously been refinanced for $145,000.
Then on June 15, 2006, SanSeverino pleaded guilty to a reduced charge of theft by illegal retention in Trish Rynn’s case.
SanSeverino was sentenced to five years’ probation on August 25, 2006 by Judge Carmen Alvarez. He was also ordered to pay Trish Rynn restitution of $275,000.
The Press of Atlantic City covered the sentencing. According to the newspaper, SanSeverino’s attorney argued that the “professional gambler” could only afford to pay a couple of hundred dollars per month because he had no steady source of income.
Judge Alvarez didn’t buy it. “I find his unemployment status to also be a con,” she said, according to the news account. She ordered SanSeverino to pay $1,000 per month in restitution for six months, increasing to $2,000 per month after that.
“If you violate probation, there is no question in my mind I will incarcerate you,” Alvarez said to SanSeverino.
Thrown in jail
Three weeks later, SanSeverino pleaded guilty to theft by deception for the Atlantic City case. On January 5, 2007, he was sentenced to 270 days in jail.
While serving time in jail, SanSeverino was allowed to reduce the amount of money he paid Trish Rynn. Still, Judge Alvarez ordered SanSeverino to repay $6,000 by October, 2007.
SanSeverino was released from jail on March 12, 2007.
Two weeks later, on March 27, 2007—Trish Rynn’s birthday—the Andy Ross Group transferred the two properties it had bought from him back to SanSeverino for $1 each.
By his deadline of October, 2007, SanSeverino managed to pay Rynn $5,700—$300 short of the amount ordered by Judge Alvarez. But Judge Alvarez was no longer on the case—she’d been promoted to New Jersey’s appellate court.
A violation of probation hearing scheduled for October was postponed.
So in October, SanSeverino paid Rynn $400. In November he paid $375. In December he paid $100. On January 3, 2008, he paid $250.
The most recent check Rynn received was for $49.
“What am I supposed to do with this?” Rynn asks.
For a detailed list of Dennis SanSeverino’s real estate transactions—including buying and selling the same properties—go to the next page.