George Pappadopoulos in an undated photo
SACRAMENTO—A Sacramento man has been sentenced to two decades in prison for felony check fraud.
On Monday, January 4, 2016, Sacramento Superior Court Judge Ben Davidian gave George Demetri Pappadopoulos, 42, a sentence of 20 years and four months, and also ordered him to pay restitution to his victims.
“You stole a great deal of money from them,” Judge Davidian told Pappadopoulos as he looked on from his courtroom holding cell.
On December 9, 2015, Pappadopoulos pleaded no contest to 11 felony counts of passing worthless checks. His check scheme, which took place from 2013 to 2014, mainly focused on small Sacramento businesses. Nearly 40 victims were frauded—some more than once—for a total theft of $195,345.
According to a Sacramento County District Attorney’s Office news release, Pappadopoulos also admitted to stealing property exceeding $65,000.
Pappadopoulos also has a strike conviction dating back to 1992 when he caused serious bodily injury to a 14-year-old boy. This added years to his fraud sentence.
The first of the 11 fraud counts carried a three-year term. Because of this prior strike conviction, this was lengthened to six years. Additionally, each of the other 10 remaining counts—which carry eight-month terms—were extended to 16-month sentences.
The Pappadopoulos family has a well-known criminal history in the Sacramento area. In 1992, his parents burned down their Arden Oaks mansion for the insurance money. The 15,000 square foot home is now a vacant lot.
Constantine and Katherine Pappadopoulos were convicted on arson-related charges in federal court. Katherine served a term of less than eight years and passed away in 2008.
Constantine Pappadopoulos was a prominent developer in this area in the 1980s who built more 1,300 apartment units. He fled the country for his native Greece using a Greek passport. He took most of the family money and his wife’s jewelry.
If he leaves Greece, there will be an Interpol warrant issued for his arrest.