Ex-caretaker gets 6 years in $1.5 million theft

ZANESVILLE, Ohio (AP) — A former caretaker of a mansion owned by the Longaberger Co.’s CEO has been sentenced to six years in prison for stealing $1.5 million from the basket company heiress.

Fifty-three-year-old Douglas Thompson, of Pataskala, had pleaded guilty in March in Zanesville to one count of aggravated theft for stealing from Tami Longaberger, CEO of the Newark-based basket-making company. He has also agreed to pay Longaberger restitution.

Thompson was caretaker of Longaberger’s $10 million, 200-acre eastern Ohio estate from 2002-2011. Prosecutors said the thefts occurred between November 2004 and February 2011 when he was managing her personal finances.

His attorney, Kort Gatterdam, told the judge that Thompson gave much of the money away and bought gifts for family and friends so he could feel loved.

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