(Volusia County Jail)
DeLand, FL – A woman is facing charges after stealing over $50,000 from an 82-year-old veteran as her boyfriend posed as her probation officer.
In fact, the case started after the Veteran’s Crisis Center said the 82-year-old veteran wanted to commit suicide due to his money being depleted by a probation officer.
DeLand police first met with the victim at his home around noon yesterday (May 13th).
There, he told police that around three years ago he met 31-year-old Jessica Henry. The victim felt bad for Henry as she didn’t have money to feed her kids or transportation to take them to school.
The two knew each other because both Henry and the victim were neighbors when he lived in an apartment complex behind the Winn-Dixie on New York Avenue.
He began giving Henry rides to drop her children off at school and “a few dollars” to purchase food.
But, six months ago, he was living in a new apartment off of North Kentucky Avenue when he received a call from Henry saying that she was arrested.
According to the veteran, Henry asked for money to pay for her urine test that will be administered by her “probation officer.”
Then just moments later, a male saying that he was her “P.O.” demanded money for probation costs.
The report says that he got calls daily with demands of money ranging from $150 to $1,000.
The vet say that Henry needed $350 a day for her samples to be analyzed.
Eventually, the victim was told that if he did not have the money, the P.O. will seize his vehicle and hold it until he pays the money and additional storage fees that sometimes exceeded $1,500.
After speaking with the PO, Henry showed up at his home and asked for the money. The victim then took her to the bank where she waited outside while he got whatever money that they needed.
The PO also threatened the vet with jail time and a SWAT team that will kick down his doors if he did not pay.
Police also learned that he gave Henry his vehicle because he did not want the PO to seize it again, saying that the last time the vehicle was seized Henry was in possession of it, claiming it was turned over.
At one point, the victim ran out of money and his account was in the negative. That’s when the PO told him he had to borrow money or he will go to jail.
After speaking to the victim, detectives told the veteran that they will attempt to locate his vehicle. The victim also told police that if they were able to help him, he would no longer have to commit suicide, because he had no money and was so despondent.
It wouldn’t be long until police found his vehicle on West Lisbon Parkway. The victim was told but he said that couldn’t be possible since Henry claimed to have moved back to her mother’s house in Orange City.
When police went to collect the vehicle, they made contact with Gregory Dushan, who was operating the vehicle just a block from his home.
Dushan told police that his girlfriend, Henry, was taking a lot of money from the veteran which, according to him, exceeded $50,000.
Investigators were also told that Henry calls him and he doesn’t know what she tells him, but she always returned with a lot of money after seeing him.
He also said that he has never called the victim and he only spoke to him maybe once or twice in the three to four years he knew him, stating that he stays out of the relationship between Henry and the victim.
After speaking with Dushan, DeLand police met with Henry.
She initially told police that she was on probation, right before saying she wasn’t. Henry explained that she as previously on probation for child support.
When asked about who her probation officer was she said “Dushan,” the same last name as her boyfriend, before she began to stutter, according to the report.
Police then asked about the money she received from the victim. Henry said that she was given $100 a week but could not articulate why the victim gave her the money.
Henry did admit that the victim gave her money, but she did not demand it.
While being questioned, Henry said that she gave the victim the number to her “probation officer” but she didn’t know that he was calling and demanding payment.
The report also says that she is paid up and does not owe any more money to probation.
Henry also claimed that she took his vehicle because he had too many fender benders and she couldn’t give it back since she did not have a license.
Police told her that the phone number she gave the victim was, in fact, the one that belonged to her boyfriend, Dushan.
Due to the entire incident, the victim is now unable to pay his rent since his savings is depleted and his check account in the red.
After a second interview, the report says Henry admitted to devising a scheme with her boyfriend in which he acted as her probation officer and that he demanded money from the victim under false pretenses.
Henry has since been arrested and was charged with elderly exploitation of over $20,000. Records show that she’s currently in custody at Volusia County Jail on $10,000.
Her boyfriend, Dushan, has not been arrested. But, according to Chris Graham, Community Information Specialist for DeLand, Dushan is a person of interest in the investigation and the investigation is ongoing.
It’s not known at this time if Dushan will be charged.