CORVALLIS, Ore. — A Portland man known for pretending to be a plastic surgeon was sentenced on Tuesday for theft in Benton County.
Lucas Orlin Ebert is known for sneaking into the Oregon Health and Science University several years ago and pretending to be a plastic surgeon. He wore a smock and carried fake identification, and was able to convince a woman to pay him directly for surgery costs. She believed Ebert until the day of the scheduled operation when he didn’t appear.
The 23-year-old received a 52-month sentence in 2011, but on Tuesday morning, a judge added 13 more months to his sentence for aggravated theft in Benton County.
Ebert pleaded guilty last week, and will receive a year of post-prison supervision after he serves his sentence. In addition, Ebert owes $16,700 in restitution to four people for various acts of fraud.
One local business manager says he called police after a business transaction with Ebert went sour in 2010. Joel Shonnard, one of the managers at Shonnard’s Nursery in Corvallis, says Ebert called the nursery during the holiday season, hoping to get an estimate on the lighting services the company provided. Shonnard went to Ebert’s apparent residence to give him an estimated cost.
“He wanted everything,” Shonnard said. “He had this tiny little lawn between duplexes, and he wanted strings of lights down the lawn, covering the lawn, with white lights on the outside, blue lights in the middle, and he wanted them to move to look like a river.”
The outside lights were not all Ebert wanted. He racked up a $32,000 bill in lights to decorate both the interior and exterior of the triplex unit in Albany.
“He told me he was going to purchase an island,” Shonnard said. “In Lake Oswego. That raised huge red flags for me.”
Shonnard says something seemed off.
“It seemed a little too good to be true,” he said. “So I went to his bank and it was confirmed that his account had been frozen.”
After Tuesday’s sentencing, District Attorney John Haroldson said the case was important because like all cases, he wants to make sure the public is protected and that justice is served.
“Here, we have victims who suffered as a result of fraud,” Haroldson said. “More important than ever, we need to protect people from scam artists and from frauds. And that’s what today’s case is all about.”
Shonnard says he’s lucky he didn’t order the lights Ebert wanted until checking with the bank first.
“It’s wrong,” Shonnard said. “Wrong on a scale of $30,000 wrong. You can’t write a check for $32,000 and not back it up. So that’s when I decided the authorities needed to take care of it from then on.”