Young AAA worker sentenced to 18 months in prison after stealing from elderly clients

Michaela+Jones+was+handcuffed+following+her+sentencing+hearing+as+she+remained+in+the+custody+of+the+Sheriff%27s+Office+before+her+transport+to+prison.

Michaela Jones was handcuffed following her sentencing hearing as she remained in the custody of the Sheriff’s Office before her transport to prison.

By Jessica Johnston, Assistant News Director

A 20 year-old AAA travel consultant was recently sentenced to 18 months in prison after financially victimizing her clients.

Through July 2019, Michaela Jones was accused of stealing from her clients for the purpose of recreational entertainment.

In December, Jones pleaded guilty to one fourth-degree felony count of telecommunication fraud ($1,000 to $7,500), one third-degree felony count of identity fraud with an elderly victim ($1,000 to $7,500), two fourth-degree felony counts of identity fraud with an elderly victim (less than $1,000), two fifth-degree felony counts of identity fraud (less than $1,000) and one misdemeanor count of theft by deception.

Jones’ LinkedIn profile states she’s been a travel consultant at Ohio Auto Club, a section of AAA, since September 2018.

During her sentencing hearing, Judge Kelly Cottrill questioned Jones about her motives for stealing funds from her clients, stating that Jones first told others she stole the money to ensure her daughter did not lose her place to live.

Upon further investigation, Cottrill said the money was spent on online shopping, concert tickets, Columbus Zoo tickets and restaurant purchases.

“How’d you do when you were in jail,” Cottrill questioned Jones, who had been bonded out of jail prior to her hearing.

“Not well, your honor,” Jones responded.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Ron Welch said Jones would use AAA client’s credit card information, that was linked to their account, and make miscellaneous charges from the company before pocketing the money.

One of the five victims Jones stole money from called the company to question a charge on her credit card, which launched an internal investigation into the charges, Welch said.

In addition to her 18-month-long sentence, Jones was also ordered to pay $4,104.59 in restitution.

During her chance to speak, Jones apologized to her victims.