Lakeland Man Gets 12 Years For Stealing $20K

BARTOW, Fla. (AP) — A Lakeland man has been sentenced to 12 years in prison for stealing more than $20,000 from an ophthalmology business where he worked as an office manager.

The Ledger of Lakeland reports a judge also sentenced 49-year-old Michael Barnes on Friday to 13 years of probation.

In October, a jury convicted Barnes of grand theft of more than $20,000 but less than $100,000, and two counts of money laundering.

Records show Barnes was arrested in 2012 and accused of paying himself unauthorized raises in salary and bonuses at the Center for Retina and Macular Disease as well as charging personal expenses such as family trips to Jamaica and the Dominican Republic.

Barnes was hired as a business manager in 2006 and was responsible for running the daily operations of the practice.