A Newport man was convicted March 4 of stealing funds from the family trust of his mentally impaired father.
Jeff Allen Johnson, 61, pleaded guilty to Washington County District Court to two felony counts of financial exploitation of a vulnerable adult. He was sentenced to 45 days in jail, with credit for one day served and the option to serve out the remainder on work release.
Johnson was ordered to pay restitution of $84,785.15 to Woodbury Health Care Center-$100 a month.
He will also serve 10 years of probation.
Eleven other counts of felony exploitation were dismissed.
The charges covered six- and 12-month stretches between July 2012 and October 2014 when Johnson diverted thousands of dollars that was intended to pay for his father's care at Woodbury Health Care Center, according to a criminal complaint. The elder Johnson suffered from dementia and "severe deficits" in orientation, attention, comprehension and memory. He entered the in-care center in 2013.
But by October 2014, Johnson's father was at risk of being discharged from the Woodbury Health Care Center because of an overdue balance of $86,400. He also risked losing Medical Assistance eligibility because of the unpaid bills.
Johnson acknowledged to a care center business manager that he was taking money from his father for his own use, according to court documents.
Johnson paid a care center bill in November 2013 that covered the previous two months, but despite bills sent to his home and email correspondence, he did not pay his father's subsequent bills.
Care center staff had purchased clothes for Johnson's father and covered the cost to get him a haircut. The care center applied for a Medical Assistance hardship waiver due to a Washington County adult protection determination of financial exploitation. The waiver was granted, allowing the man to remain at the care center.
Johnson told a long-term care official that he had used his father's money to pay his own debts. An investigator determined that amount totaled more than $50,000.