TAMPA Acting United States Attorney A. Lee Bentley III said Tuesday Lyndon Jones, 45, Sarasota, pleaded guilty to theft of government funds. Jones faces a maximum penalty of 10 years in federal prison.
According to the plea agreement, Jones served as executive director of ManUp of Greater Sarasota, which ran a summer youth program to assist Sarasota community youth in developing leadership and professional skills. From at least as early as June 19, 2009, and continuing through on or about Sept. 29, 2011, Jones stole at least $76,707 in federal funds from a community development block grant by fraudulently submitting duplicate billing for hours worked by the students.
One set of billing was submitted to the grant administrator, and a second set was submitted to the student employers (e.g., the Sarasota Manatee Airport and Sarasota Memorial Hospital). Both paid Jones to pay the students. Jones kept the second set of payments for himself.
In addition, the airport paid the students $14 per hour but Jones actually remitted an amount equal to $8 an hour to the students, keeping the difference for himself.
The case was investigated by U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General.