February 22, 2020

Former public guardian sentenced for embezzlement



STANDISH — Former Arenac County Public Guardian Sherilyn Jones has been sentenced to three years and four months to 20 years in prison, and ordered to pay $300,649.16 in restitution for criminal enterprise and racketeering.

Jones was sentenced by 23rd Circuit Court Judge William Myles Wednesday, Dec. 8.

The Michigan State Police conducted an investigation last year that uncovered that $300,000 was misappropriated from approximately 50 clients, during the years 1999 to 2009.

District 3 County Commissioner Michael Snyder said that this case hurt the reputation of Arenac County.

Snyder said that the county commissioners were shocked to find out the amount of money embezzled after paying $20,000 to have an audit performed by the state of Michigan. The report was given to the commissioners in March and stated that there was a “lack of segregation of duties” and there were “unauthorized transactions” in the county’s public guardian’s office.

“I was personally horrified by the situation,” Snyder said. “The amount of money that was taken was staggering. It is like the old saying goes, ‘death by a thousand cuts.’”

He said that the county has changed the way the public guardian’s office is run and added that more precautions are being taken to prevent this from happening again.

“We have taken some important steps,” Snyder said. “There are now a number of individual audits performed throughout the year.”

He added that people who had money stolen are currently being paid back.

Snyder said that as he sat in the courtroom for the sentencing, no one in the room was happy.

“What had to be done was done,” he said. “This was a bad situation for the county.”


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District 3 County Commissioner Michael Snyder should have been happy that the perpetrator of these crimes upon the vulnerable elderly and/or disabled has been held accountable. Sherilyn Jones stole more than money; she stole the public's trust.

Unlawful and abusive guardianships and conservatorships are a growing national problem, especially now that baby boomers are entering the age of vulnerability.

For more information, visit NASGA at www.StopGuardianAbuse.org, www.AnOpenLetterToCongress.info and http://NASGA-StopGuardianAbuse.blogspot.com. Forewarned is forearmed!


Elaine Renoire


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