Pomona : 2 Sentenced in Grand Theft

Two West Covina women, convicted last month on more than a dozen counts of grand theft in an investment scheme involving a phony will, have been sentenced in Pomona Superior Court to nine years in prison. Julianna Onesty, 64, and Sally Ann Scarpinata, 46, were found guilty March 25 of taking an estimated $1.5 million from more than 100 people over a five-year period. According to testimony, victims were told that one of the women was the beneficiary of a secret will worth millions of dollars but that taxes, probate costs and court fees had to be paid before the money would be released. Victims were promised that their investments would be doubled.

Deputy Dist. Atty. James Green, who prosecuted the case, said Judge Thomas F. Nuss imposed the maximum sentence possible but told the women that he would reconsider if they could produce the missing money within 180 days and make restitution to the victims. Attorneys for both women said they would appeal. The attorneys had asked for a new trial after the sentencing Monday but their requests were denied. Nuss set bail at $250,000 each after notice of appeal is filed, but the women must prove that the bail money is not part of the missing money they received from the scam.

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