A judge sentenced a Virginia business owner to five years in prison with all but six months suspended for accepting payment for a ceiling lift from a Maryland woman but failing to deliver it.
Karen Mitchell-Nurse’s daughter Naiya was born with multiple disabilities, and years of seizures left her non-verbal and unable to walk on her own.
When Naiya got too big for her mother to carry, Mitchell-Nurse paid $2,500 to Access Mobility for a ceiling lift. Access Mobility owner Jim Clore never ordered it, and Mitchell-Nurse spent months asking him to install the lift or return her money. He did neither.
Mitchell-Nurse filed a complaint with the Montgomery County Office of Consumer Protection, which led to criminal charges against Clore, who pleaded guilty in September.
Mitchell-Nurse attended sentencing this month.
“It was very emotional because it's not my personality to see someone at their demise, but at the same token, he's off the street and will never do this to someone ever again,” she said.
Something he said at sentencing took Mitchell-Nurse by surprise.
“He acknowledged that some of his clients gave him their life savings,” she said. “That really stuck out to me, that you knew this and you kept on stealing from individuals.”
Clore did bring money orders for Mitchell-Nurse to sentencing but still owes her $953.
Clore couldn’t be reached for comment because he is in prison, but in the past he said he never intended to defraud anyone.
Clore is facing more criminal charges in Virginia.