LANSING, Michigan – A former Michigan court employee who was designated to safeguard vulnerable persons was found guilty of embezzling more than $20,000 and received a prison sentence.
Judge Susan Sniegowski sentenced Jessica Englebrecht, 36, of Scottville, to 35 months to 7 years in prison on Tuesday, January 30, as stated by Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel.
According to a news release from Nessel’s office, the court in Oceana County Circuit Court also sentenced Englebrecht to pay $21,409 in restitution for embezzling thousands of dollars from vulnerable adults and other offenses.
In order for our elderly and vulnerable persons to have faith in the system designed to safeguard them, Nessel stated, “Court-appointed guardians and conservators should be held to the highest standards.” “My department and our Financial Crimes Division will ensure that they are held accountable when they instead take advantage of the very people they are entrusted to care for.”
According to Nessel’s office, Englebrecht was designated as the adults’ guardian and/or conservator from 2017 to 2019. She combined the money of her clients and embezzled more than $20,000 from ten individuals who were deemed weak and under her protection.
In 2019, Michigan State Police started looking into Englebrecht after receiving a tip from Adult Protective Services. November 2020 saw the charging of her.
September saw the conviction of Englebrecht on 11 counts, including:
One count of caregiver commingling funds/obstructing investigations; eight counts of embezzlement from a vulnerable adult – $1,000 or more but less than $20,000; one count of embezzlement from a vulnerable adult – $200 or more but less than $1,000; and one count of embezzlement from a vulnerable adult – less than $200.