BREAKING NEWS - Jones gets three years

Cary Ashby • Oct 29, 2015 at 12:52 PM

Plymouth resident Janet L. Jones was sentenced this afternoon to three years in prison for scamming area elderly people.

On March 13, Jones, 58, of 226 W. Broadway St., pleaded no contest to one count each of attempted aggravated theft and tampering with records. Visiting Common Pleas Judge Richard Markus said prosecutors agreed to “remain silent at the time of sentencing” and dismissed 35 other charges as part of the plea deal.

Jones attempted to defraud an elderly woman of “the bulk of her estate,” or more than $100,000, without her consent, Markus said. She tampered with records by filing a last will and testament as well as other documents with the Richland County Auditor’s office “knowing those writings were false,” the judge said while reading court documents.

Markus declined to impose any fines because he said there would be a “substantial” amount of restitution.

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler said 17.75 percent of the sale of various property would go through the Huron County Clerk of Courts to be dispersed to the victims. He noted the amount would not exceed $400,000.

“All of this is subject to the decision of the probate courts,” Leffler added, while explaining the restitution to the court. Attorneys made a written agreement on restitution during a May 8 hearing.

Eleven individuals and “at least four government entities” were listed as victims in the original 37-count indictment filed March 13, 2006, Markus said. Jones was indicted on allegations she created a business to perform legal work for people and then wrote herself into their wills between 1989 and 2003.

Prosecutors had accused Jones of scamming $1.4 million from the Huron and Richland county victims.

“I did not commit a crime,” she told the Adult Parole Authority, according to a document read by Markus. After the presentence interview, the Adult Parole Authority recommended Jones be sentenced to prison.

The defendant declined to speak on her own behalf during this afternoon’s hearing.

“I will not consider (early release) at all until I see some genuine remorse,” Markus said.

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