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Prosecutors say 84-year-old man going to jail for stealing more than $1.4 million from Ventura widow

Bill Oxford
Investigators say man received more than 30 checks from the victim over a two year period.

Investigators say man help convince victim she won big financial prize, but needed to contribute upfront money to get it.

An 84-year-old man has been sentenced to six years in jail for his role in a scam which stole more than a million dollars from an elderly Ventura widow.

Prosecutors say Worthy Tobe Smith and an accomplice convinced the victim she had won a big financial prize, but that she needed to make payments first to get the money. They say over a two year period, Smith received 30 checks from the widow, totaling more than $1.4 million.

The San Diego man was arrested in April. He pled guilty to 13 felony charges, ranging from conspiracy to money laundering. Prosecutors say he will serve two years at the Ventura County Jail, and then be placed on mandatory supervision for the final four years.

Lance Orozco has been News Director of KCLU since 2001, providing award-winning coverage of some of the biggest news events in the region, including the Thomas and Woolsey brush fires, the deadly Montecito debris flow, the Borderline Bar and Grill attack, and Ronald Reagan's funeral.