Paso Robles woman facing up to 35 years in prison

October 16, 2011

Jean Cross

A Paso Robles woman found guilty in July of defrauding the United States Department of Education and the California Department of Education out of a $35 million grant will be sentenced Monday at the U.S. District Court in Riverside.

Jean Michele Cross, 59, was found guilty of mail fraud, forging a writing to obtain money from the United States and making false statements. She also concealed a 15 percent fee she had negotiated in exchange for submitting a successful grant application.

Cross faces a maximum statutory penalty of 35 years in federal prison.

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she now get three square meals a day, a roof over her head and the best medical care an American can receive, and we will pay for it!. We need a new type of punishment for these type of white collar criminals. Forfeit all of your assets forever, until the theft is recovered plus interest and collection costs. Become ineligible for any government assistance forever, welfare, medicare/medical, unemployment, even social security. And prohibit her from ever getting a license for anything, even pet groomer. But putting her in jail at our expense, no wonder we have so much over crowding in the jails. How many of you can think of hundreds of people and/or businesses that steal from the government on a daily basis?

This story and the posts that follow tell a lot about the problem with this country. Murder someone, go to prison 1- 10 years depending on the case but you can get off fairly light for murder,,, that is if the cops even take the time or bother to investigate and go after the murderer. People get away with murder all the time because LO doesn’t want to be bothered or because they are short of funds. But heaven forbid you cheat the IRS or God forbid you commit fraud. In other words money takes priority over human life,,,God Bless America. As I said I don’t have sympathy for this lady, what she did was horrible. But our priorities are really messed up.

We spend more money prosecuting and convicting crimes regarding money than crimes that involve money. OJ didn’t get convicted for murder, he got convicted over money. Al Capone didn’t get convicted because of all the murders he caused but because of the IRS. This just doesn’t make sense to me but it is the American way.

Geez, wish I could get through one post without a typo. Last paragraph: We spend more money prosecuting and convicting crimes regarding money than crimes that involve ‘murder’.

I would imagine she really does not need the free food prison will be providing to her. I do agree with you in saying that she should have to forfeit any rights and assets. Perhaps some day people in prison will have to pay for their upkeep from their own assets. But someday is too far away for me.


Nice looking chick at age 59?

She is nothing more than a foolish ignorant hoar!

“Jean Michele Cross, 59, was found guilty of mail fraud, forging a writing to obtain money from the United States and making false statements. ”

Mail fraud, they indicted Jay Miller with that too, I say this woman is going to pay hard, because she didn’t just steal from people, she stole from the government.

And we all know they don’t take kindly to competition, I say this thief can rot in jail for 35 years, a spade is a spade and I call it like I see it.

Don’t let the violent criminals out to make room for her, she shares “their” room now and “likes” it.

Maybe she will make friends with Jay Miller, Kelly Gearhart, Karen Guth and son. It’ll be ok with me to lock them all up and throw the key away.

There’s something wrong with our justice system if this lady gets 35 years in prison but others who get repeatedly drunk or high, get behind the wheel of a car & kill others get less than that…

I’m with you. We have the highest percentage of none violent offenders in the world cluttering up our prisons. What good is it going to do by locking this woman up for all those years. By spending all that money by locking her up and letting out the dangerous offenders we’re cutting off our noses to spite our faces. Yes, fine her, yes put her on probation, give her lots of community sevice. Here we are letting child molesters out to make room for women like this. I understand that vengeance feels good but in most cases it makes no sense.

“Letting child molester out to make room for her?” Please show my just a little proof of that. Otherwise I agree with your post.

I don’t know that they are actually letting a child molester out to make room for her specifically, I wasn’t being literal. I meant that we keep hearing about how Ca is letting out prisoners because due to overcrowding. We also keep hearing that the prisons are broke. Perhaps if we didn’t imprison people like this woman then we could keep the people in prison that are actually dangerous. I would much rather have a child molester in prison for 35+ years than this woman.

One answer. The drug war. The biggest waste of taxpayer money in history with zero results.

I agree, it’s a terrible waste. But remember when they locked up Leona Helmsly? What a waste of money that was. We paid for a millionaire to stay in prison, why didn’t we just seize assets, put her under house arrest and make he do community service? There is all kinds of waste when it comes to our legal system. Back to the drug war, it has become such a joke. When we think of all the taxes that could be generated by legalizing pot, and the reduction of the cost to litigate these people, that alone would probably make our prisons cost neutral or at least close to it. On this topic though it just doesn’t make sense to throw this women in prison for 15 years or however long she ends up spending in there. It’s not that I feel sorry for her or that I have sympathy for her, it’s that the math doesn’t make sense.

Sorry, I disagree on this one, TQ.

Her sentence, especially coming at the age of 59, will serve as a warning sign to those who think they can pull scams on the government.

That’s what jail terms are for, in part: to show other criminals, and potential criminals, of what they can expect if they get caught. I don’t think many women would, no matter how greedy they are, would want to spend the last productive years of their lives in a cell.

When people like Cross scam the government, it is us, the taxpayers, who are paying for it. So I don’t think that they are any less of a threat to the public than are drunk drivers. We don’t know what kind of sacrifices the taxpayers who funded her fraud (and the investigation and prosecution of it) had to make every year to pay those taxes, so we don’t know what kind of damage she did to the public.

Mary, you’re funny. So you are saying it’s O.K. for the government to run the largest Ponzi scheme ever (social security) but illegal for anyone else. It is legal for the FDA to allow hundreds of prescription drugs out to the public that have terrible side effects, but refuse to study medical marijuana because our polititions are bought out by big pharma. The friggin president lies through his teeth on a dailty basis. The goverment is scamming us every day from the feds down to the city manager of San Luis Obispo, Paso Robles, Atascadero.


Show me a politician who does not lie on a daily basis. Maybe one with laryngitis or one who sleeps standing up.

Mary, I must be reading this wrong, that happens quite frequently when people posts on these things. Are you saying that she’s as dangerous as a drunk driver? This woman did a terrible thing but she didn’t kill anyone and she’s not a threat to anyone’s physical health like a drunk would be. But they are different types of crimes that IMO can’t really be compared. IMO drunk drivers need to be judged on a case by case basis. But I’d rather someone steal all my money than kill me.

From everything I’ve read don’t believe that in most cases that using people to deter crime works, maybe it might in this case to a degree but if this woman is left penniless, working to help others, paying for the rest of her life, receiving no SS etc. that would be just as much as a deterrent as throwing in prison. After this woman is in prison, no one’s going to think about her. In 5 years from now, a thief isn’t going to say, ‘hmm, I better not take their money, I remember what happened to that woman 5 years ago’, she’ll be forgotten by then.

She won’t get close to 35 years, wait and see. And what would be the difference had the grant be awarded legally? None, massive scam either way.

“been”, whoops.

We don’t know what kind of impact on the public her $35million scam produced. That was taxpayer money, and taxpayers had to do with less to make their tax payments.

I think one year in jail for each $million embezzled is a sweet sentence deal for her. If she gets out in half that time, she will still be able to commit more scams when she is released on parole.

The timing on this is very interesting…

….Right on the heels of FEMA indicating they wanted part of their post-earthquake funding to Paso Robles, secondary to PR’s using the money for things not within the limits of the loan contract, and for PR’s handing over the contract (without competitive bidding) to one of their cronies, Boyle Engineering.

….Also, right on the heels of Gearhart embezzling and financial fraud in North County…

…Also, after Atascadero being caught attempting to commit fraud with their FEMA loan….

…And, finally, right smack-dab after the Cambria school district’s administration, Adams, and his wife being caught registering their kids for a federal/state program where children from low-income could get subsidized lunches at school.

I think I’m going to print out this story and mail it to the Adams and to Julian Crocker, the superintendent of SLOCo schools. Perhaps when they consider the possibilities for their actions, they will come down from their high-horse named “Entitlement.”


Have we know attained a fair and balance playing field for women in business?

Not sure how a federal dept of education reconciles against the 10th Amendment; but I say reduce the size of the federal government by about 90% and 90% of this type of thing would go away.

Awaiting moderation I am sure.

I agree with you 100%. Our government has stuck their nose into every aspect of our lives. They were never intended to become a mega conglomerate. We could easily reduce them by 90% and if we ever vote in a constitutional purist that tries to down size them, I have a feeling we will find out who the real terrorists are.

The claim that “They were never intended to become a mega conglomerate” is illogical. (by comparing the size of government in 1770 vs. 2010, and the needs for a larger government needed just because of the population change).

In 1770, there was an estimated 2,148,100 population.

In 2010, there was an estimated 308,745,538 population.

When comparing the two populations, the population in 2010 was a percent-change of 14,273% (2010 population was 14,273% larger than the 1770 population). More people to govern requires more management, workers, offices, office equipment, etc.

In addition, the world is a much more complex place now than it was before. The founding fathers didn’t have to deal with many things our current government needs to deal with. As the population grew, the demands on government grew.

The founding fathers, while enjoying the relative power that their educations brought them, realized that an uneducated voting populace could easily fall to demagoguery and manipulation by outside forces, threatening the future of the country. Eventually, this led to public education measures to ensure Americans were informed enough to deal in the current-day world…and as the “current-day world” increased in complexity, so did the education needs and costs.

They also never anticipated things like computers, hacking, identity theft, and a company called trying to get out of paying taxes that the bricks-and-mortar stores have to pay in California.

They didn’t have a clue about the future need for airports, air-traffic control, and all of the attendant rules and technology needed.

Our current-day government is dealing with technology and numbers of people that our founding fathers never anticipated. Therefore, it should come to no surprise that our founding fathers did not provide for the demands of a changing world in technology and opulation.

You are off base. All government wants is bigger government so they can control our lives more and more. Can’t you see it, we are moving towards socialism every day. Bigger government, declining middle class. The writing is on the wall unless we begin to put a stop to it. Why in the heck do you think the Occupy Wall Street has gained popularity? They have you brain washed too.

Inevitably, when a major fraud, or waste, of taxpayer’s money contributed to the state or feds occurs, there is a knee-jerk reaction to cut the amount of money going to the government, with the mistaken idea that ALL people have to suffer because one a**hole committed a crime: defrauding the government.

NO. We fix the government process first to avoid this kind of fraud happening again. Then, after the system is working correctly, THEN we make decisions about cutting or otherwise modifying the amount of funding available through the program.

To penalize all Americans because one person defrauded the government through the program does nothing but harm innocent people who depend on the services providing by the state/fed program.

35 million dollars gone and more tax money to put her prison. I say let her go, take ALL of her assets and force to work as a fry cook at micky d’s for life.

Take her assets for restitution – YES

Let her go – NO

Force her to work sewing postal bags at the Federal Institution for Women, Tucson Arizona – YES

This seems to be happening more and more, white collar crime of this sort where the perp thinks it is OK to rip off the boss man because “who will care or notice”.

And I agree with cindy that the penalty for this type of serious ripoff should be paid back with hard time, but those caught smoking a doobie should not be taking up space in the big house…

“And I agree with cindy that the penalty for this type of serious ripoff should be paid back with hard time”

The problem that I have with this is, who is paying for that hard time, who benefits? What good is going to come from this? We are going to pay (over pay) thousands no, millions of $$ to keep this woman incarcerated. As was mentioned by someone else, she will receive better medical care than my kids. I don’t want to repeat isoslo’s post but if you go up and read his/her post iso nailed it. Make her pay, we can get more out of her out of prison than in prison.

There is so much stealing and cheating of our well intended tax dollars that this is nothing but a drop in the bucket. The only way to begin to put a stop to this is to start demanding minimum sentences that start at 10 years. Legalize marijuana to make room for the REAL CRIMINALS.

ITA with you on this, Cindy.

Oh really? Steal a purse – 10 years? Get caught with meth – ten years? Indecent exposure – 10 years? You may want to re-think this a little. I definitely agree with the marijuana thing.