Probation Granted After Heber Springs HVAC Man Reaches Plea Deal For Thefts | New
A former employee of a heating and air conditioning company in Heber Springs was sentenced to seven years probation after reaching a plea deal in White County Circuit Court last week on two charges of theft, including one linked to social security disability benefits.
Jason T. Julian, 40, of Heber Springs had been charged with Class C felony and Class B property theft in matters related to his work at Affordable Air Hot and Cold LLC. He accepted a deal negotiated with the 17th Judicial District prosecutor’s office on June 8. In his conviction, Julian wrote that he was not contesting the Class C felony charge however, ar.courts.gov shows him as having pleaded guilty to the prosecution.
In the Class C felony case, according to an affidavit prepared by Detective Steven Cochran of the White County Sheriff’s Office, the owner of Affordable Air told detectives in November 2019 that Julian “had collected multiple cash payments unauthorized “from a West Center Street owner. to Beebe for the work he did from February 13, 2019 to May 1, 2019.
It was learned that Julian was posing as the owner of the business and accepting cash payments when the owner, “upset by what he considered to be a bad job Julian did,” contacted the business, wrote Cochran.
Only $ 1,257 for the services was reportedly given to the company by Julian, leaving $ 6,642 “unaccounted for.”
Julian was employed by Affordable Air from June 2013 to August 2019, according to an affidavit prepared by Special Agent Charles M. Briscoe, but did not report his employment to the Social Security Administration, resulting in a “loss of estimated fraud ”of $ 75,000 in disability. benefits before his payments were canceled after September 2018 for “medical improvement”.
Julian reportedly applied for benefits in November 2010 after a car accident. The Searcy office, which covers Cleburne County, “has been tasked with making an initial decision regarding eligibility, as well as issuing various forms that the applicant is required to complete.”
While working for Affordable Air, there was no record of Julian “reporting complete and accurate work activities or earned income,” according to the affidavit. In addition, a review of his disability was reportedly performed in 2014 and Julian “did not report employment with Affordable Air”. In fact, he responded on a report “he hadn’t worked since his medical decision,” Briscoe wrote.
Another review was reportedly conducted in 2017, however, since he “did not provide truthful details regarding his income, the review did not result in Julian having overpaid his file, which means that he was not required to reimburse the benefits “.
The owner of Affordable Air was interviewed and reportedly said Julian asked while he worked there that “some of the paychecks” be made payable to his wife and Julian told him that ” he could only earn a certain amount per month or he would lose his ‘medical insurance’. In 2014, because Julian’s wife “didn’t want a 1099 form issued in her name,” the company resumed issuing checks to Julian; however, he requested in 2017 that his checks “be applied to a credit card,” according to the affidavit. Reports confirmed the payment methods, Briscoe wrote.
Briscoe also wrote that “Julian’s reported tactics and overt attempts to conceal his salary and provide false information to the SSA allowed Julian to receive SSA disability benefits under fraudulent pretexts. “
In 2018, when disability benefits ended, Julian reportedly “asked for a pay rise to cover the loss of benefits,” said the owner of Affordable Air. Upon conviction, he was ordered to pay $ 68,392,70 in restitution to the Social Security Administration in $ 100 increments effective July 2.
Julian currently operates a heating and air conditioning business in Heber Springs. It was named Business of the Month for May by the Heber Springs Chamber of Commerce.
A 40-year-old man from North Little Rock was also convicted of theft last week by the White County Circuit Court. Joe Gorman Thompson III pleaded guilty in a negotiated deal to Class C felony theft by receiving and listening five years in the Arkansas Corrections Department.
Thompson, who had a criminal history of 5, was reportedly “confronted” by White County MPs for being in possession of a stolen truck on February 26 at the Exxon gas station in El Paso. The 2007 F250 was reported stolen at Searcy on January 28.
Thompson told MPs that “he got the Ford from a friend after he found the truck on the side of the road,” MP Kenneth Booth wrote in the affidavit. He also reportedly said that “he was told if he could get the truck to take off he could have it.”
Thompson, who was arrested and taken to the White County Detention Center, received 96 days in jail.