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Woman who exploited $50,000 from 82-year-old veteran sentenced to 10 years

VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. – A DeLand woman who exploited more than $50,000 from an 82-year-old veteran was sentenced to 10 years in prison Wednesday and ordered to pay back the money of which she defrauded him.

Jessica Henry was arrested in May 2018 after DeLand police said she exploiting thousands of dollars from the victim under the guise that she needed help paying for extraordinary probation costs. Her boyfriend, Gregory Dushan, who acted as her probation officer, was also arrested and charged with exploitation of an elderly person, records show.

Officials at the Veterans Crisis Center contacted DeLand police May 8 after the victim said he wanted to end his life because all his money was gone.

After the story first aired, DeLand police officials said they received numerous calls from people who wanted to help the victim.

The victim’s daughter told the judge Henry targeted her father.

“It’s my belief that Jessica and her boyfriend targeted my father for financial gain, because to them, he was an easy mark,” Sheila Jones said in court Wednesday.

After her arrest, Henry was ordered not to contact the victim. On Wednesday, Judge James Clayton said she violated that order. Clayton said he had to issue another order to prevent Henry from using the Volusia County Jail telephone because she continued to contact the victim.

“The defendant Jessica Henry has shown no remorse by violating the no-contact order on more than one occasion,” Clayton said.

Henry was adjudicated guilty of conspiracy to commit exploitation of an elderly person, a third-degree felony, and exploitation of an elderly person and organized scheme to defraud, both second-degree felonies.

“He’s an elderly veteran. He’s vulnerable. And he trusted you," Judge James Clayton told Henry during sentencing. "You violated that trust and confidence he had in you and took complete advantage of him.”

Clayton ordered Henry to pay $56,000 to the victim in restitution and sentenced her to 10 years in prison.


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