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A former Kissimmee attorney and her husband were sentenced to nine years combined in federal prison on Thursday and ordered to pay back millions of dollars after swindling 27 clients out of more than $2.8 million through a foundation they created.
Chief U.S. District Judge Anne Conway sentenced Ross Littlefield, 48, and Linda Littlefield, 41, both of Kissimmee, for money laundering. Ross Littlefield was sentenced to four years in federal prison, while Linda Littlefield was sentenced to five years. As part of their sentence, the court also entered a restitution order in the amount of $2,888,418 and a money judgment in the amount of $155,739.93. The Littlefields pleaded guilty on June 11, 2013.
According to court documents, Linda Littlefield, a former attorney, formed The Littlefield Law Group, which ultimately matured to specialize in Medicaid planning. In 2007, Ross Littlefield, Linda Littlefield, and others created a nonprofit organization called the JNN Foundation and represented that a JNN Special Needs Asset Preservation Pooled Trust could shelter a client’s assets and not affect the beneficiary’s Medicaid or Social Security Income eligibility. Ross Littlefield served as the trustee.
Between 2007 and 2010, Ross and Linda Littlefield fraudulently induced approximately 27 clients to contribute more than $4.7 million to the JNN Foundation, court documents showed. Once the client funds were received by the foundation, the Littlefields transferred the money to other accounts under their control. The Littlefields used the money for their own personal benefit. They purchased property, vehicles, and made personal loans to their other business. As part of their fraudulent scheme, the Littlefields sent false quarterly statements to their clients showing fictitious balances. Consequently, the Littlefields stole more than $2.8 million from their clients.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney David Haas.