SAO Economic Crime Unit Investigation Leads to Arrest

Today, defendant Stephen Michael Jones was arrested in Troy, Michigan, on one count of Scheme to Defraud and one count of Grand Theft Over $100,000. The arrest comes after a lengthy and detailed investigation by the State Attorney’s Office.

The complaint originated from the Florida Bar Association alleging that Jones, formerly a licensed attorney in Florida, had taken and misappropriated approximately $101,000 dollars in insurance settlement proceeds from his victims, between April 1st, 2019, and July 8th, 2020.

Jones is alleged to have met with the victims in 2019, regarding his representation in a personal injury matter, and entered into a Contingency Fee Arraignment, knowing the victims had already secured over $101,000 in settlement proceeds with no assistance. Jones ultimately collected the check from the victims for payment of medical bills and further negotiation. 

In the following months, Jones is alleged to have depleted the entire settlement through a series of withdrawals, transfers, and Venmo payments to himself. The allegation is, there was no legitimate purpose for the representation in the personal injury matter and he used the money for self-enrichment and debt payments. 

The State Attorney’s Office, in conjunction with the Oakland County, Michigan Sheriff’s Office Fugitive Apprehension Team, located Jones in Michigan and he was arrested this afternoon. He is to be extradited and returned to Lee County for prosecution by the Economic Crime Unit.

Mr. Jones, who primarily practiced in Orlando, was disbarred over these allegations.

Assistant State Attorney Connor Boe will prosecute the case.

Samantha Syoen – Communications Director, State Attorney’s Office