Husband, Wife Sentenced in Elder Abuse Case

(Phoenix, Ariz. – May 25, 2005)   Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced that Jennifer Elizabeth Johnson, 41, and her husband Philip Wayne Johnson, 37, were sentenced to seven years supervised probation and ordered to pay $150,000 in restitution in an abuse case involving Jennifer Johnson’s grandmother and her trust fund.  Additionally, Jennifer Johnson was ordered to forfeit all benefits with respect to her grandmother’s estate.

The Johnsons, formerly of Flagstaff, and now living in West Jordan, Utah, were indicted in February on charges of fraud, theft and Unlawful Use of Power of Attorney.  The indictment alleged that the Johnsons used more than $100,000 of the principal and income from her grandmother’s living trust fund to benefit themselves and their children.  Jennifer Johnson was the trustee and was authorized to spend trust money only for the benefit of her grandmother who is in her 90s and suffers from dementia.  

In March, each defendant pleaded guilty to Unlawful Use of Power of Attorney Involving an Amount in Excess of $25,000, a Class 2 Felony.  The defendants were sentenced by Judge Michael O. Wilkinson on May 24.  Assistant Attorney General Ted Noyes prosecuted this case.