Northwood woman sentenced to five years for deceiving state out of assistance

NORTHWOOD — A Northwood woman accused of deceiving the state out of housing and food assistance has been sentenced to five years in prison.

46-year-old Jennifer Mikesell was accused of falsely telling officials with the Iowa Department of Human Services that her husband was not living with her in order to get housing and food assistance. Mikesell is said to have received just over $10,000 in state aid between November 2021 and June 2022.

Mikesell was charged with single counts of ongoing criminal conduct, first-degree theft, and first-degree fraudulent practice, but as part of a plea agreement with prosecutors filed a written Alford plea in April to one count of second-degree theft, a Class D felony. With an Alford plea, a person does not admit guilt but acknowledges there is enough evidence for a likely conviction.

MIkesell was sentenced to five years in prison on Monday during a sentencing hearing in Worth County District Court.