Plymouth woman convicted in scam targeting the elderly

A Plymouth woman pleaded no contest Tuesday to scamming about $1.4 million from 11 elderly people in Huron and Richland counties. Janet L. Jones, 58, of 226 W. Broadway St., was convicted in Huron County Common Pleas Court of attempted aggravated theft and tampering with evidence, both third-degree felonies. She faces one to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000 on each charge when she is sentenced after a restitution hearing that starts May 8.
Norwalk Reflector Staff
Jul 24, 2010

 

A Plymouth woman pleaded no contest Tuesday to scamming about $1.4 million from 11 elderly people in Huron and Richland counties.

Janet L. Jones, 58, of 226 W. Broadway St., was convicted in Huron County Common Pleas Court of attempted aggravated theft and tampering with evidence, both third-degree felonies. She faces one to five years in prison and a maximum fine of $10,000 on each charge when she is sentenced after a restitution hearing that starts May 8.

The state, in a plea agreement, agreed to dismiss 48 other charges on which Jones had been indicted March 13, 2006. The Huron County indictment listed the original felony charges of aggravated theft, attempted theft and forgery plus false representation as an attorney, a first-degree misdemeanor.

Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler described it as "a very difficult case" because Richland County decided not to charge Jones and many of the victims were dead in cases that were 20 years old.

What made a conviction and plea deal possible, Leffler explained, was a "forensic accountant" determined that Jones used the money for her own benefit while one of the people in the guardianships was still alive.

In the scam, Jones used a business she created to perform legal work for people and then wrote herself into their wills, Rosemary Rupert, a prosecutor with the state attorney general's office, has said. Prosecutors estimate the Plymouth woman reportedly victimized 11 estates between 1989 and 2003.

Jones set up a post office box in an attorney's name, created authentic-looking documents, forged an attorney's signature and then filed those false documents in Huron and Richland county probate courts and recorder's and auditor's offices, court records show. Rupert has said the intent was to take guardianship of elderly people and exert control over their properties.

In one case, Jones reportedly filed monthly guardianship reports in Richland County Probate Court and stole property valued at more than $100,000 belonging to one woman.

Four of the victims are listed as being deprived of property and cash of more than $100,000 each. Two are listed as being deprived or defrauded of from $5,000 to $100,000. One widow was listed as being deprived of more than $25,000.

Jones does not have a law degree and is not a paralegal, Rupert said.

Assistant Prosecutor Richard Woodruff, in 2006, said he was unaware of other local criminal cases involving Jones.

Leffler said the plea deal means there will be no more state charges filed against Jones or her daughter, who "ended up" with some of the scam money, but Jones still could face federal charges. He estimated the amount of documentation in the case may have resulted in a two- to three-month trial.

Comments

linda52486 (Ano...

this lady and her family that stole from the elderly should lose everything they own, especially their freedom.
they have no remorse and knew exactly what they were doing and who to pick to scam.

johm doe (Anonymous)

i beleive she should go to jail on all charges.any person who would cheat the older people should get all the jail time that the courts can give her

dmh (Anonymous)

Janet Jones should lose everything and go to jail for a long time. They should take everything she has, sell it and give the money back to the families of the people she scamed. I'm sure she stole there life savings. How can someone be so cold and heartless. I hope she does face federal charges on top of the state charges. Any family that knew what she was doing or helped her should get the same fate as her. Shame on you Janet Jones.

dmh09 (Anonymous)

Janet Jones should lose everything and go to jail for a long time. They should take everything she has, sell it and give the money back to the families of the people she scamed. I'm sure she stole there life savings. How can someone be so cold and heartless. I hope she does face federal charges on top of the state charges. Any family that knew what she was doing or helped her should get the same fate as her. Shame on you Ms Jones.

James R. Hennes...

Dear Sirs: Jan Jones' cleaning out of the bank accounts of the elderly by fraud and deception is a type of white-collar crime this is the most despicable in our society.

Elderly people who have contributed to our society with their work, families and kindness see Jan Jones out of need and then she steals their assets! Steals their assets by cunning and craftiness. Her greed respected no limits.

Jan Jones did not use a gun and mask. She used her cleverness and cuteness and knowledge gained from working in the law office of Eric Akers. She used false friendship, faked sincerity and encouraging words to mislead trusting elderly adults whom had no other resources. And Jan Jones had no guilt or regret regarding her robbing these unfortunate people. She represents a criminal with the foulest and cruelest mind.

The whole community of surrounding counties should know these nefarious deeds. Let everyone know! No punishment would be enough. Promulgate this elderly person scam as the Jan Jones scam technique.

And did anyone ever consider the fate of Shandar, the native of Fiji married to Ms. Kuhn? Jan Jones knew his fate since she was guarding him from any outside help and then......what happens? He winds up dead. And out of the way! He would no longer encumber her schemes! And who was his only caretaker? I ask you again...Who was his only caretaker allowing him to degenerate into a single locked room wallowing in his own body wastes? Who was that calculating vicious caretaker? Jan Jones was her name.

How could a healthy man go from being well to death in a few months? And where was the responsibility of his adult caretaker? This, at least, is adult abuse. He was found in his own excrement in a diaper on his deathbed. Discuss this with the Richland County Sheriff's office. They supposedly investigated the case. He was found in his own urine, feces and disheveled bedding.

And no one cared to investigate this adult care crime? Richland County washed their hands because they did not have the stomach for it. Single adult with no transportation and limited communication skills who is locked in a small bedroom and is found dead in his own filth? And no one sees the crime here?

And then Shandar's body was cremated so no evidence was left behind. How convenient! If any other person, child or adult, had been cared for in this manner, the appropriate social agencies would have been on the case and getting some answers. And going to court ...and prosecuting the case...but not Richland County. But why no investigation of this criminal death that ended in a bed of his own urine, feces and filth?
I hope that many come to the hearing on 08 May 2007 at 10 AM to express their disgust with this whole travesty of justice.

If you want to leave a message for me, leave it at 1-419-251-8037