(STL.News) – Attorney General Mark Brnovich announced a Tucson jury found Cynthia Renae Ortiz guilty of 21 felony counts for defrauding an elderly Arizona couple out of more than $80,000. Ortiz was convicted of 2 counts of Fraudulent Schemes and Artifices, 11 counts of Taking the Identity of Another, five counts of Forgery, and one count each of Aggravated Taking the Identity of Another, Theft, and Theft from a Vulnerable Adult.
In 2014, an elderly Tucson woman needed respite care for her husband who was being treated for lung cancer, dementia, and renal failure. The couple hired Ortiz, who promoted herself as a caregiver. Within 60 days, the husband sadly passed away from his illnesses, and Ortiz offered to “assist” with estate paperwork.
In an unfortunate turn of events, the wife suffered a disabling injury that left her near death. During this time, Ortiz not only stole one of the husband’s credit cards to make multiple fraudulent purchases, but she also stole the husband’s identity to rent a home and open a different credit card. Ortiz also stole the wife’s identity to open yet another credit card, where she charged over $42,000, and then used the wife’s money to pay it off. Beyond the credit cards, Ortiz stole death benefit checks payable to the wife and liquidated stocks that had belonged to the husband before he died.
Ortiz faces a prison sentence between 4.5 and 30 years. Sentencing is scheduled for 10:00 a.m. on March 12, 2020, at the Pima County Superior Court.
Assistant Attorney General Doug Clark prosecuted this case. It was investigated by Detective Jessica Badine of the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.