Crime

Nipomo woman stole $117,000 from an elderly client. Now she’s going to jail.

The San Luis Obispo Courthouse Annex.
The San Luis Obispo Courthouse Annex. jjohnston@thetribunenews.com

The former owner of a Nipomo financial services firm will spend a year in San Luis Obispo County Jail after bilking an elderly client out of $117,000, the District Attorney’s Office said Thursday.

Araceli Cortes, who ran Cortes Multi Services, pleaded no contest Thursday to one count of felony grand theft, a charge that carries an added enhancement for stealing an amount greater than $100,000.

Cortes, 38, was sentenced Thursday to one year in jail and four years of formal probation. She is required to repay the full amount to the victim, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

In August 2012, Cortes fraudulently encouraged the 74-year-old client of Cortes Multi Services to take out a reverse mortgage on his home. About $117,000 provided to Cortes for business development were used for personal, nonbusiness expenses, a news release states.

Cortes abandoned the business in 2015, Deputy District Attorney Eric Dobroth, who prosecuted the case, said Thursday. The fraud was uncovered by District Attorney’s Office investigators last year.

The business was established in 2011, according to manta.com.

Matt Fountain: 805-781-7909, @MattFountain1

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