Paso Robles woman convicted of fraud is arrested after cutting off monitoring device, authorities say

Jean Michele Cross
Jean Michele Cross

A Paso Robles woman preparing to serve a prison term was arrested Wednesday for tampering with her electronic monitoring device, according to the San Luis Obispo County Sheriff’s Office.

Jean Cross, 60, was convicted in June of mail fraud, forgery and making false statements.

She was sentenced to six years for submitting a $35 million federal education grant application containing forged signatures and false statements.

She also was ordered to pay a $60,000 fine.

The U.S. Attorney's Office said Cross intended to divert more than $5 million earmarked for needy kids to her own account.

Investigators say Cross filed an application for before- and after-school programs in March 2007 on behalf of the nonprofit Indio Youth Task Force in the Coachella Valley.

A five-year grant for nearly $7 million a year was awarded.

Problems with the application were discovered, and the first check was returned.

On Wednesday, a SLO County sheriff’s deputy was sent to Cross’ home after federal agents told county law enforcement they believed she had been tampering with her electronic monitoring device, according to a news release from the Sheriff’s Office.

“Upon examination, she was detained for cutting off her monitoring device and then placing it back on,” according to the news release. “The device had activated, indicating tampering.”

Cross was taken into custody and booked into San Luis Obispo County Jail, on hold for federal marshals.