The following press release was issued by the U.S. Attorney's Office of the Eastern District of Pennsylvania on Friday, February 17, 2023.
PHILADELPHIA – United States Attorney Jacqueline C. Romero announced that Andrew Wolf, age 42, of Philadelphia, PA, was sentenced today before United States District Court Judge Mark A. Kearney to 38 years and 10 months in prison, 5 years supervised release, $800 special assessment, $40,000 special assessment under the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, $150,000 in assessments under the Amy, Vicky, and Andy Child Pornography Victim Assistance Act, and a $50,000 in fines for multiple child exploitation offenses in connection with his scheme to manipulate and catfish children online, including his own middle school students.
In February 2022, the defendant and an accomplice were indicted on charges of conspiracy to manufacture child pornography, along with several counts of manufacturing and attempted manufacturing of child pornography. These charges, to which Wolf pleaded guilty in June 2022, stem from conduct which occurred over a period of one year. Between May 2020 and October 2021, Wolf and his accomplice developed and carried out an elaborate online child exploitation catfishing scheme, in which they impersonated minor girls to entice their child victims to self-produce and send them sexually explicit images. As part of their scheme, Wolf provided identifying information for his own middle school students to his accomplice so that the accomplice could target them online.
“Our Office and our law enforcement partners are committed to holding child sexual predators accountable,” said U.S. Attorney Romero. “Today’s sentencing will never make the victims whole; however, it should serve as a reminder to all of us that an open line of communication and discussion with our youth about the ever-evolving dangers on the internet are another key component to keeping our youth safe”.
“Over several years, Timothy Gritman collected hundreds of thousands of dollars to which he knew he wasn’t entitled,” said Jacqueline Maguire, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI’s Philadelphia Division. “Needless to say, defrauding the government is a criminally bad idea and the FBI and our partners will continue to pursue anyone bold enough, and foolish enough, to do so.”
This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice. Led by United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet, as well as to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.projectsafechildhood.gov.
The case was investigated by the FBI and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Kelly Harrell.