Probation revoked on woman tied to campground fires

BY STACI WILSON

A woman who received a probationary sentence in 2011 in connection with a fire at her residence at the Shady Rest Campground in Gibson Twp. in April 2009 is now heading to prison.

Tamara Santarelli, 44, was sentenced in October by Senior U.S. District Judge Edwin M. Kosik to serve 70 months in prison.

Santarelli, along with her husband, Victor Santarelli III, of Clearwater, Fla., were convicted in 2011 aiding and abetting mail fraud, aiding and abetting wire fraud and conspiracy, after a jury trial that lasted nearly a week.

The couple had been indicted by a federal grand jury in February 2011 on allegations they schemed to defraud Joann Striminsky, a great-aunt whom they cared for until she died in 2007, of more than $75,000.

Victor Santarelli III was sentenced to serve 57 months in prison in the federal case.

Both were also ordered to pay over $74,000 in restitution.

Following the sentencing by Judge Kosik, Tamara Santarelli was returned to Susquehanna County and her probation on an arson and recklessly endangering counts was revoked.

Susquehanna County President Judge Kenneth Seamans delivered a nine month to seven year sentence to run consecutive to the federal sentence.

The Santarellis had purchased the campground property from Alice and Arnold Manning in 2007. In November 2007, the bathhouse at the campground was destroyed by fire. Tamara Santarelli entered a “no contest” plea to a reckless endangering charge that stemmed from that fire.

As part of the plea deal in 2011, charges that had been lodged against Victor Santarelli in connection to the bath house fire were dropped; and Tamara Santarelli received a probationary sentence contingent on the campground property being deeded back to Alice and Arnold Manning.

At Tamara Santarelli’s sentencing hearing in 2011, Alice Manning took the stand and directly addressed the woman she had sold the campground to. “You are a wicked and evil person and may God have mercy on your soul,” she said.

Times Shamrock reporter Joseph Kohut also contributed to this report.