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Monday, July 12, 2021

Three arrested in theft of $90,000 from 83-year-old woman’s bank account

Three people were arrested in connection with the exploitation of an 83-year-old woman after they allegedly filed a fraudulent “power-of-attorney” document with her bank and stole $90,000.

On June 28, a Marion County Sheriff’s deputy responded to a request from the Department of Children’s and Families for assistance on an exploitation investigation.

An investigator with DCF says he was told an 83-year-old woman was being financially exploited by 21-year-old Lucas Jones. The investigator says he was contacted by a bank that reported suspicious activity in the victim’s account. A bank report indicates Jones brought paperwork into the bank naming him the power-of-attorney for the victim on April 18, according to the sheriff’s report.

The report states Jones was added to the victim’s bank account on May 4. After that, the bank account saw a $90,000 decrease, according to the report.

The report lists a variety of suspicious transactions involving Jones and co-defendant 19-year-old Alyssa Morrison. The report indicates that Morrison attempted to receive cash in the amount of $16,000 while using the victim’s check that she claimed was to purchase a golf cart, according to the report.

The victim confirms she knows Jones is her power-attorney and knows he is spending her money. The victim claims Jones will not give her access to her money or credit cards. The victim also reports she was unaware Jones purchased a $42,000 pickup truck and withdrew $5,500 to purchase a hospital bed, the report states.

Both Jones and Morrison denied any wrongdoing in reference to the transactions, the report states.

Jones was recently arrested on June 23 in Alachua County for aggravated assault with a deadly weapon and had a bond set at $165,000.

The investigator made contact with the Alachua County Sheriff’s Office and retrieved twelve phone calls made to Jones. The phone calls revealed Jones asking Morrison to sign his name on a check and get $16,000 from the victim’s bank. Another phone call revealed Morrison suggesting to use the victim’s residence as collateral for the $165,000 set bond and the Marion County Appraiser listed the assessed value of the victim’s home at $88,646, according to the report.

In the recordings, another suspect was later identified as 55-year-old Sarah Horne, who is Jones’s biological mother. In a particular call, Horne asks Jones what amount she should ask for. Jones states “anything you think will work” in the recording, according to the report.

The sheriff’s office reports Jones used the victim’s two credit cards for the cash portion of the bond. The investigation also confirmed Jones purchased the $42,500 pickup truck along with another truck costing more than $14,000, according to the report.

Jones says he completed the transactions because he believes they were in the best interest of the victim, the report stated.

Morrison and Jones were arrested and transported to the Marion County Jail on July 6 with a bond set at $25,000.

Morrison was released on July 7 and Jones was released on July 9. Both are facing the charge of exploitation of the elderly of $50,000 or more.

Horne was arrested and transported to the jail on July 6 with a bond set at $15,000. She faces the same charge and was released on July 7.

A court date for Jones is set for August 10 at 9 a.m., jail records show.