OGDEN — An Eden-area man faces five felony counts in connection with his alleged attempt to create a false will in the name of his late wife in an apparent bid to secure control of her assets.
Jody Rhorer, 43, is being held without bail at the Weber County jail stemming from the charges relating to the assets and will of Deone Ehlers-Rhorer, his wife, who died Aug. 26. Ehlers-Rhorer, 54 when she died, was a longtime real estate agent in Weber County and the owner of Lady Bug Realty in Ogden.
The Weber County Attorney’s Office filed the charges on Monday, and Sean Brian, a deputy attorney, described Rhorer’s alleged efforts to secure control of several properties belonging to his wife and to create the false will in a probable cause statement. Rhorer faces one count of committing a computer crime, a second-degree felony; two counts of fraudulent handling of a public document, third-degree felonies; and two counts of registering a false document, also third-degree felonies.
“Through the computer fraud, forgery and the filing of a false will, Jody attempted to transfer property and assets to himself while deceiving and depriving victims of those assets,” Brian wrote in the probable cause statement. Rhorer is charged in 2nd District Court in Ogden.
Rhorer’s lawyer, Jonathan Porter of Ogden, issued a statement Wednesday saying his client “vehemently denies the accusations.” Rhorer, the statement went on, “was a faithful and committed spouse to Ms. Ehlers-Rhorer.”
According to the probable cause statement, Ehlers-Rhorer’s will names one of her four sons from her first marriage as executor of her estate and her only personal representative. Rhorer, her second husband, according to an obituary published in the Standard-Examiner, unsuccessfully contested the designation in 2nd District Court. Then he filed a new will on Dec. 16 in Ehlers-Rhoerer’s name giving him sole rights to his late wife’s property and assets, according to the probable cause statement.
However, “it was discovered Deone’s signatures had been forged, as well as the notary public signature and stamp used to pass the document as authentic,” Brian goes on in his statement. “I was able to find a previous document with the original signatures which was used to generate signatures for the counterfeit will.”
In addition to that, Rhorer allegedly named himself the principal agent of Four Boys Investments through the Utah Department of Commerce using login and password information belonging to his wife. Online Utah business records show that Ehlers-Rhorer is actually the registered agent for Four Boys.
“Jody was not registered with the business prior to Deone’s death, and he signed the document via an electronic signature claiming to be Deone herself. By doing so, he then transferred ownership of multiple properties into his own name on 12/3/2020,” Brian wrote.
Brian asked that Rhorer be held without bail, saying he poses a “substantial danger” to others and represents a flight risk.
Witnesses in the case reported that Rhorer “had been driving by their residences frequently prior to his arrest,” according to a motion for pretrial detention filed by Brian. Moreover, Rhorer owns a construction business and lives in a home worth more than $1 million, notwithstanding the man’s contentions on being booked into jail that he has no income.
District Court Judge Joseph Bean agreed to Brian’s request, ordering Rhorer to be held without bail. A bail hearing is scheduled for Jan. 5.
Porter, Rhorer’s lawyer, emphasized the principal that those charged are innocent until proven guilty. “Mr. Rhorer is confident that, over time, the evidence will prove that the charges lodged against him are meritless,” Porter said.
Ehlers-Rhorer’s obituary called Rhorer “her cowboy” and said when they married, they became a “house flipping duo.” Ehlers-Rhorer filed to run as a Republican for the District 8 seat in the Utah House in 2018, but subsequently withdrew her bid due to a respiratory infection.