A Pennsylvania horse rescue operator has been indicted by a federal grand jury on fraud charges.
The seven-count superseding indictment states Equine Angels’ founder Pamela A. Vivirito is now facing 5 counts of mail fraud in addition to 2 counts of extortion that were brought last year.
Vivirito is accused of soliciting donations to rescue and rehabilitate horses although she allegedly used the non-profit’s funds for herself. Vivirito allegedly used more than $18,000 of Equine Angels’ donations for her personal expenses over a two year period. The indictment states donors from multiple states including New York, Delaware, and Pennsylvania were defrauded in the scheme.
Court documents state Vivirito extorted property from two men after she allegedly had sexual affairs with them at different times.
Equine Angels Rescue and Vivirito were ordered to cease and desist from soliciting contributions in Pennsylvania in February 2016. The Commonwealth states the horse rescue is no longer registered with the department’s bureau of charitable organizations but allegedly continued soliciting contributions.
If convicted in the federal case, Vivirito faces a sentence of up to 140 years in prison and a fine of $1.75 million.