Sarasota executive charged stealing government funds

HERALD STAFF REPORTJanuary 7, 2014 

MANATEE -- A Sarasota man who served as executive director of ManUp of Greater Sarasota pleaded guilty to theft of government funds on Tuesday.

Lyndon Jones, 45, faces a maximum penalty iof 10 years in federal prison, according to a Department of Justice news release.

As executive director of ManUp of Greater Sarasota, Jones ran a summer youth program to assist Sarasota community youth in the development of good leadership and professional skills, according to a plea agreement.

From at least as early as June 19, 2009, and continuing through on or about Sept. 29, 2011, Jones stole at le4st $76,707.12 in federal funds from a Community Block Grant, which he used for his own benefit, the plea states.

He stole the funds by fraudulently submitting duplicate billing for the hours worked by the students, the plea states.

One set of billing was submitted to the ground administrator, and a second set was submitted to the students' employers, for example the Sarasota Bradenton International Airprot and Sarasota Memorial Hospital, according to the plea.

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 per hour, but Jones actually remitted an amount equal to $8 a hour to the students, keep the difference for himself, the plea indicates.

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