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Terry Goddard Announces Prosecution of Elder Abuse Case

(Phoenix, Ariz. – February 23, 2005)   Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard today announced an indictment arising from alleged abuses of an elderly woman’s trust fund.The State Grand Jury indictment accuses Jennifer Elizabeth Johnson, 41, and her husband, Philip Wayne Johnson, 37, formerly of Flagstaff, of spending on themselves over $100,000 of the principal and income of the living trust of Jennifer Johnson’s grandmother.  This was money that Jennifer Johnson, as trustee of this trust, was authorized to spend only for the benefit of her grandmother.

The defendants were arraigned in Maricopa County Superior Court on February 22 on three felony charges:  Fraudulent Scheme and Artifice, Theft, and Unlawful Use of Power of Attorney.  The defendants pleaded not guilty and were released on their own recognizance, with permission to travel to Utah where they now reside.  The indictment was returned on February 11.

The defendants are scheduled to appear for a pretrial conference in Maricopa County Superior Court on March 30.  The case is assigned to Judge Jeffrey A. Hotham.

If convicted, the defendants face a prison term of up to 12.5 years and a fine of up to $150,000.  Assistant Attorney General Ted Noyes is prosecuting the case.