Forgery lab operator sentenced to prison



A woman previously convicted of similar behavior was sentenced to six years in prison on Tuesday for operating a financial forgery lab.

Erika Noemi Verdusco, 40, appeared in Douglas County District Court asking for probation.

Verdusco was also sentenced to 2-5 years for low level possession of methamphetamine. The two sentences were ordered to run simultaneously.

Verdusco could have faced up to 20 years and a $100,000 fine on the forgery count. She admitted the two counts in May in exchange for prosecutors recommending the sentences be served at the same time.

She was arrested April 11 after a traffic stop at Lake Tahoe revealed around 30 grams of methamphetamine. A subsequent search found a laptop, printer and a device that encodes credit cards, along with several documents containing people’s personal identification.

“We don’t feel probation is appropriate for operating a financial forgery lab,” prosecutor Bill Murphy said. “She had checks she’d created in people’s names. She had to buy special paper and special ink so she could attempt to steal people’s money that was partially successful.”

Murphy said one victim said she’s having to rebuild her credit thanks in part to Verdusco.

Attorney Max Stovall argued that Verdusco relapsed into her drug habit after her mother died of coronavirus.

Verdusco is also involved in a personal injury case in Reno where Stovall said there was a settlement.

“The sentence is the stick,” Stovall said. “Release (from custody) is the carrot.”

Verdusco apologized to the victims.

“I’m truly sorry,” she said. “I only cared about getting high.”

District judge Todd Young told her that her addiction was not an excuse to hurt other people.

“Addiction has stolen much of your life, but that doesn’t mean you get to steal from people,” he said.

Verdusco was given credit for 120 days time served.


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