March 25, 2024

Lonely and slowly losing his mental acuity, Ted Trujillo drained his life savings to help his Ukrainian love interest, “Katerina,” come to the U.S., a new lawsuit says.

The 77-year-old Chimayó man already had spent $180,000 — obtained by refinancing his home twice — when he decided to ask an acquaintance for a loan so he could clear the last few hurdles preventing him and Katerina, whom he’d met on an online dating site, from being united, says the suit, filed on his behalf in December in state District Court.

Trujillo told the man he needed $60,000 to help Katerina get her personal funds released from a United Nations “hold,” which would allow her to access millions of dollars. There would plenty of money to pay back the loan, Trujillo believed.

According to his complaint, the retired lawyer, who is the father of Rio Arriba County Attorney Adan Trujillo, then fell victim to scam artists closer to home, who took advantage of his diminished mental state to divest him of a piece of undeveloped property he owned along the Santa Cruz River.

The complaint lists 11 people and companies and multiple “John and Jane Does” as defendants.

Mukhtiar Khalsa of Española is named as one of the men accused of exploiting Ted Trujillo.

Khalsa has been accused previously of fleecing New Mexico residents. The state Attorney General’s Office in…

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