News and Press Releases

Executive Director Of Local Charity Pleads Guilty To Fraud

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

January 7, 2014

TAMPA, FL – Acting United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley, III announces that Lyndon Jones (45, Sarasota) today pleaded guilty to theft of government funds. Jones faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.

According to the plea agreement, Jones served as executive director of ManUp of Greater Sarasota, which ran a summer youth program to assist Sarasota community youth in the development of good leadership and professional skills. From at least as early as June 19, 2009, and continuing through on or about September 29, 2011, Jones stole at least $76,707.12 in federal funds from a Community Development Block Grant, which he used for his own benefit. He stole the funds by fraudulently submitting duplicate billing for the hours worked by the students. One set of billing was submitted to the grant administrator, and a second set was submitted to the students’ employers (e.g., the Sarasota Manatee Airport and Sarasota Memorial Hospital). Both paid Jones, for him to make payment to the students. However, Jones kept the second set of payments for himself. In addition, the airport paid the students at a rate of $14.00 per hour. But Jones actually remitted an amount equal to $8.00 an hour to the students, keeping the difference for himself.

This case was investigated by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Office of the Inspector General (OIG). It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas N. Palermo.

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