Ohio man sentenced to four years in scheme that defrauded 80 yr old victim

In the following press release Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh announced that Emil Katrinak, 41, of North Ridgeville was sentenced yesterday to four years in prison by Judge Paul Gallagher after pleading guilty on September 2, 2008 to Theft from the Elderly and Grand Theft, both felonies of the third degree.

“This person scammed an 80 year old out of his life savings,” said Summit County Prosecutor Sherri Bevan Walsh. “He went to great lengths to impress the victims into believing his scam by flying them to St. Louis, picking them up in a helicopter he claimed was his own, putting them up in a posh hotel and claiming he was part owner of the St. Louis Rams and multiple properties in Cleveland, Los Angeles, Erie Pennsylvania and Tampa Florida. The victim in this case thought he was investing in properties that the defendant was building. In the end, he received nothing. It just proves how vulnerable the elderly are to becoming victims in scams like this.”

On February 1, 2007, Katrinak befriended the victim, Armand Thierfelder, 80, who is wheelchair-bound and uses oxygen, to convince him and family members to give him more than $140,000 paid in three separate payments. Katrinak told the victim that he was using the money to build premium real estate in Florida and invited them to “invest” in the property development. Thierfelder told the court that Katrinak took his life savings.

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