prison bars

MCCONNELSVILLE, Ohio — An Alaska man is headed to prison for defrauding 15 victims out of money, property and services valued at more than $750,000, Ohio Attorney General Dave Yost and Morgan County Prosecutor Mark Howdyshell announced Monday.

Andrew J. Jensen, 31, of Anchorage, was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison and was ordered to pay restitution to his victims. The sentence was handed down by visiting Judge Michael Ward in the Morgan County Court of Common Pleas.

An investigation by Yost’s Economic Crimes Unit and the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office revealed that Jensen stole cash and property totaling $238,695 from an elderly Morgan County man between July 2014 and March 2017. Jensen then used the stolen money to con other victims into believing he was independently wealthy.

“The primary target of this guy’s scheme was an elderly man with dementia, the epitome of vulnerability,” Yost said. “Instead of treating him like a human being, Jensen exploited this victim like a personal ATM. But justice has finally caught up to Jensen thanks to a strong partnership between law enforcement at the local, state and federal levels.”

“Fifteen victims throughout the nation had their voices heard today,” Howdyshell said. “By pooling resources, our office and the Attorney General’s office have held Jensen accountable for his crimes. We appreciate the support provided by the Ohio Attorney General’s Economic Crimes Unit in protecting elderly victims in Morgan County.”

Claiming he had plenty of cash but bad credit, Jensen convinced victims in Ohio and six other states to use their personal credit to purchase vehicles, services and other items for his benefit. He never followed through with his promises to pay them back.

As some Morgan County residents grew suspicious, Jensen took the elderly victim out of state to isolate him from his family and continue the scheme. Jensen transported the man to Alaska, Kentucky, Nevada and Tennessee between January and March of 2017.

Jensen pleaded guilty in May to 18 felony charges, including theft from a person in a protected class, telecommunications fraud, money laundering, misuse of credit cards and other theft offenses. An attorney from Yost’s Economic Crimes Unit served as special prosecutor in the case.

Numerous law enforcement agencies were integral to the investigation and prosecution, including the Athens County Prosecutor’s Office, Dare County Sheriff’s Office (North Carolina), Morgan County Prosecutor’s Office, Morgan County Sheriff’s Office, National Insurance Crime Bureau, Nelsonville Police Department, Robertson County Sheriff’s Office (Tennessee), the U.S. Marshals Service, and the Ohio Attorney General’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Organized Crime Investigations Commission.

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