|SALT LAKE CITY July 7, 2017 – After a two-day trial, a jury returned guilty verdicts on June 28, 2017, against David Bryce Jones for financially exploiting his elderly father who resides in a local assisted living facility, the Office of the Attorney General’s (OAG) Medicaid Fraud Control Unit (MFCU) announced today. During the trial, Assistant Attorney’s General Robert Morton and Robert Steed presented evidence that Jones used his father’s retirement funds to pursue a risky restaurant business venture and to pay his personal expenses while his father’s bills at the assisted living facility went unpaid.
“Our office is committed to protecting Utah’s most vulnerable citizens, this often includes our children and our elderly citizens who are targeted for their resources during a time of vulnerability,” said Attorney General Sean Reyes. I am proud of our prosecutors and staff for achieving this result.”
“This was a case about trust,” said Assistant Attorney General Robert Morton. “The son signed a power of attorney with his father in 2010. He knew his duty was to take care of his father’s most basic needs and instead he took care of himself.”
“When we learned what was happening, we worked with our partners at Adult Protective Services and the Office of Public Guardian to manage the father’s resources and keep him in a safe and appropriate environment,” said MFCU Director Robert Steed. “The victim worked hard to be prepared for retirement and provide for a comfortable life in his old age. Sadly we see far too many instances where family members feel entitled to use their parent’s resources for personal use while placing their parents at risk of losing essential resources and services.”
During the trial, agents with the MFCU, Adult Protective Services, and the Office of Public Guardian gave evidence it had obtained a court order 2014 to act as the victim’s guardian and to assure his needs were being met.
The jury found Jones guilty of Exploitation of a Vulnerable Adult, a second-degree felony and the Unlawful Dealing of Property by a Fiduciary, also a second-degree felony.
Jones will appear before Third District Judge James Blanch on September 14, 2017, for sentencing. Each conviction carries a maximum possible prison term of 1- 15 years.
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