amigo 04 Apr 2005 ...FINALLY WITH THE RIGHT CROWD! HOORAY! A CON MAN and drug peddler who bilked a cancer survivor out of her business begged for a conditional sentence yesterday after saying he had converted to Judaism. Character witnesses, including Rabbi Mendel Kaplan and other congregation members and friends, praised Sandy Hutchens, 45, as a devout orthodox Jewish family man with three kids. Hutchens pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud and another count of drug trafficking in prescription painkillers last spring in front of Justice Harry LaForme. Hutchens' lawyer, Joseph DiLuca, said his client has rehabilitated himself and provided $55,000 in restitution and agreed to pay an additional $10,000. But Hutchens' conversion and glowing character testimonials weren't believed by cancer survivor and widow J.M. Shaw or any of his other victims. "He is a consummate actor and I believe will use this talent to convince the court that he is a reformed man," said the 59-year-old widow, whose business Hutchens offered to sell in December 2000. Instead he scammed her out of $40,000. Shaw said her husband, who succumbed to cancer in October 2003, spent his final months worrying about his family's financial well-being. "Two doctors and a nurse told me the only explanation for my illness (cancer) was stress," she said in a heartfelt victim impact statement. Shaw is now working 52 hours a week, having lost her "nest egg" -- the business she and her husband built. Meanwhile, Hutchens and his family enjoyed a Caribbean cruise this winter and his children attend private school. Crown attorneys Ann-Marie Calsavara and Moiz Rahman are seeking 5 1/2 years for Hutchens, who has a criminal record spanning 20 years. Hutchens, who also operated a paralegal firm called Tenants Right Co. and The Legal Network, also admitted that he defrauded three clients with landlord-tenant problems for more than $25,000. The judge will sentence Hutchens on April 8.