Man gets prison for stealing from elderly woman

A Carson City man who attempted to embezzle nearly $650,000 dollars from his elderly charge was sent to prison Tuesday for as many as a dozen years.

Eric Matthew Ormsby, 33, will have to spend at least 32 months in prison.

But the woman he stole from believes the short sentence is a life sentence for her.

"That is nothing," the 74-year-old Carson City woman said. "A few years and I can worry he is going to come and finish the job.

"I'll never be the same. I hate looking at people and thinking, 'Do you want something?'"

Eric Matthew Ormsby, 33, was arrested Jan. 9 after he tried to sell jewelry worth approximately $550,000 and two furs priced at $100,000 to a deputy posing as a "fence" for stolen goods. Ormsby pleaded guilty to a charge of felony embezzlement and was sentenced Tuesday by Judge William Maddox.

"There are some crimes you have to punish," Maddox told Ormsby. "Crimes against a child, and in this case crimes against the elderly."

Maddox sentenced Ormsby to 72 months on the charge of felony embezzlement and 72 months on an elderly enhancement charge. The sentences are to run one after the other. Ormsby was ordered to spend a minimum 16 months on each charge.

The victim testified to the fear she feels knowing what Ormsby has done.

"I feel like somebody who's been raped," she told the court. "It's like laying bare my every aspect - it's like scraping. I will never be clean.

"I feel like I have to look over my shoulder all the time and wonder 'Am I going to be killed?' I don't mind dying, but I sure would mind being murdered."

Ormsby's apparent downfall was confiding in the man who came to clean the victim's pool at her Lakeview Estate home.

David Mogros was an employee of a pools and spas company and said he met Ormsby in December 1999. He eventually went to police, telling them of Ormsby's plans.

"The only contact I had with (Ormsby) in the beginning was as far as servicing the pool," Mogros said. He said Ormsby began calling him at home on Sundays, drunk and aggravated at his situation as caretaker for the woman.

"He said some not-very-nice things about her," Mogros said. He said Ormsby complained he had no friends in the area because he had moved to Carson City with the woman from Los Angeles.

Eventually, Ormsby told Mogros he had the combinations to both safes in the home. Mogros said he would listen as Ormsby would talk about his dislike for his employer and how he wanted to fence her things and keep the money.

"When he showed me a necklace of her's that he had stolen, I called the police," Mogros said.

Mosgros said the officers came up with a plan for him to act as the middle man and introduce Ormsby to a cash buyer for the stolen goods. The buyers would be undercover investigators.

"(Ormsby's) first plan was to have someone commit a burglary while he was at some civic function. That way he wouldn't look guilty and could continue to work and basically laugh in her face because everything was gone."

Mogros said he initially thought to tell the woman, but then decided against that.

"I was afraid if she confronted him he might go off on her - so I went to the police," he said.

He said Ormsby talked "a couple of times over the phone about doing some bad things" to her.

Ormsby's sister said if her brother were given probation, he could live with her at her home in Ventura, Calif.

"Things were slowly driving Eric crazy there," Elizabeth Ormsby said.

Ormsby said he is not sure why he did what he did.

"I realize what I have done is horrendous," he told the court, fighting back tears. "I am constantly astounded at my stupidity. I can't see why I thought it would work. I have no excuse whatsoever for what I have done."

The Carson City Sheriff's Department investigated the case for two weeks before setting up the sting operation. In the sting, investigators rented a motel room and equipped it with video and audio surveillance.

The victim had an appointment in Reno, and after Ormsby dropped her off he returned to her home, where he placed a fur coat and several trays of jewelry and precious gems in a blue cooler.

Ormsby then drove to the motel and carried the cooler into the room with a second fur coat draped over his arm.


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