Public Safety

Marion man sentenced to 18 months for embezzling $124,525 from homeowners association

Federal judge also orders Wayne Jones to pay fine and restitution

CEDAR RAPIDS — A Marion man was sentenced Thursday to 18 months in federal prison for defrauding a homeowners association out of nearly $125,000, which he used to pay off his credit cards and condo mortgage that was part of the association.

Wayne P. Jones Jr., 55, previously pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to one count of wire fraud. Jones, while treasurer of the Pheasant Ridge Homeowners Association in Marion, funneled $124,525 from the association into another account, which he controlled and used for personal expenses, starting about November 2011 and continuing through August 2016, according to court documents.

Jones, who owned a garden and landscape business in Marion — Dream Designs of Iowa and DDI LLC — admitted to setting up fraudulent treasurer reports each year in an attempt to conceal the fraud from the association.

Jones, as part of the plea agreement, also admitted to one wire transfer of $200 to make a personal credit card payment, which was included in the charging information.

Federal plea agreements don’t always include every fraud transaction because prosecutors aren’t required to include them, but a lawsuit filed in 2016 against Jones included the other embezzled funds, which showed thousands were used to pay his credit cards, mortgage, utilities, cable, retail, equipment and cash back from withdrawals and deposits.

Of the total embezzled funds, about $19,285 was paid against Jones’ mortgage loans for his condo unit, according to state court documents.

Sixth Judicial District Judge Paul Miller, in a ruling Jan. 18, 2017, ordered Jones or his businesses to pay a default judgment of $274,665 to the association.

The association sued Jones, but he never appeared for the proceedings in the civil suit, which resulted in the default judgment.

Jones, who was a member of the association, actively sought the appointment as treasurer when another person resigned in November 2011, the judgment shows. As treasurer, his association dues were waived as a form of compensation.

U.S. District Judge C.J. Williams, during sentencing, ordered Jones to pay a $7,500 fine and restitution of $124,525, plus interest. Jones had already paid $900 of the restitution before sentencing.

Jones also must serve three years of supervised release following any prison term.

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