When I was young and innocent, the evilest person in the universe was “The Grinch who Stole Christmas.” Who would do such a thing? If you’ve forgotten the lyrics, here’s the beginning of the theme song to Jennifer Woodward AKA Jennifer Selhorst, AKA Jennifer Schaeff’s life:
You’re a mean one
You really are a heel
You’re as cuddly as a cactus
You’re as charming as an eel
Mr. Grinch, you’re a bad banana
(Mr. Grinch), with the greasy black peel
You’re a vile one
You got termites in your smile
You have all the tender sweetness
Of a seasick crocodile (Mr. Grinch)
You’re a foul one
Friends, you don’t have none
I wouldn’t touch you with a thirty-nine-and-a-half foot pole!
You’re a monster
Your heart’s an empty hole
You’re a goner
You got garlic in your soul
If you are considering hiring her, for any reason, know this: she is a thief, a liar, and a very evil person. How evil? Let me recount the ways as I tell you a story of someone who knows no limits to the depth of her depravity, no consciousness for the human condition and who will lie, cheat, steal and stab you in the back, all while pretending to be your closest friend and ally. (And, no, I’m not the only one who will attest to this- many of her x-friends have been keeping me apprised of her latest whereabouts). The judge just ordered that for the next five years Ms. Jen the thief:
“not work in any capacity where she conducts financial transactions, handles cash, has access to employer/customer cash, checks, or credit information, or manages employer/customer finances;”
When she came to apply to work for me as a part-time office manager at the end of 2015, she lied about having a college degree from the University of Cincinnati, had worked in property management and in bars and knew a bunch of people I knew who I considered to be good folks, including members of the Gem City Roller Girls. Let this be a warning to any prospective employer- assuming that if enough people are facebook friends to an applicant that you know – is not enough of a reference. My initial reaction to her green and purple hair, copious tattoos and tendency to be louder than most was that this was someone who may have untapped potential that her own personal style may be creating barriers. I’ve taken a chance on more than a few people, including a former crack addict felon who’s email was “Profexcon”- standing for “Professional Ex-Convict” who worked out just fine for about a year and a half before his addiction returned (Richard, you still owe me about $330+ 13 years interest).
Our books were a bit of a mess, thanks to another sad social experiment gone awry, and she sat down to get everything organized. It later took the amazing Kim McCarthy over 5 months of forensic accounting to put things back together after Jennifer was done doing her dastardly deeds, which is the real story.
Jen the thief, was to work 20 hours a week. She’d come in, sit at the desk and look very busy. People generally liked her bar maid worker personality. We gave her space and time to do her thing. The books had been screwy for a while, it would take a while to fix them. We encouraged for her to learn about advertising, and she read our company bible, “Hey Whipple, Squeeze This” by my friend Luke Sullivan. We took her to the AAF Dayton Hermes awards where the best work in Dayton by our competition is on display. We introduced her to some of our clients to give her some other opportunities to do part-time bookkeeping on the side.
Four months in, she made her first small mischievous moves, paying off her Rent-a-Center bills with some of my money. This was in February of 2016, about the same time that my good friend and client, Bill Daniels of Dayton’s Original Pizza Factory asked me to help a mutual friend and acquaintance, John Sullivan, also known as Sully, but not to be confused with the Dayton Cop of the same name (and similar physical disposition). John had worked at the factory as a driver and prep guy, and had played on my Huff-N-Puff hockey team where he was my go to guy if I wanted an assist. He skated with grace and had uncanny hands which would put the puck in the place of his choosing with ease- mostly in the back of the net. He’d been living 5 houses down from me in a rental on the corner, but when Bill called, it was because we’d lost him- no one knew where he was.
John had attended the US Air Force Academy as a young hockey stud coming out of Culver Military Academy. He’d grown up in Centerville, playing High School football with Kirk Herbstreit. It was the beginning of his Senior year at the Academy, when John had his first onset of his mental illness. His dreams of becoming an Air Force officer were dashed and he was shipped home to WPAFB for treatment before his discharge. From 1995 all the way until 2018, John was the problem our country didn’t want, sent out on his own, to deal with his demons. He lost his wife, access to his son, lost jobs, lost money, lost hope. He went from ER to ER, to long stays at institutions, to jail, from one living situation after another that ended badly.
Turns out when Bill called, Sully had been manic, and picked up in Warren County on the side of I-75 where he was apparently hitting golf balls. The cop used the made-up charge of “indecent exposure” to get him into jail, because his ass crack showed when he went to look for his registration in his trashed car. The cop was doing John a favor, because he knew that John needed help. Before we found out where he was, he’d already been transferred to Summit, one of the State of Ohio’s few remaining forensic mental hospitals. Bill had asked me, as a Service Disabled Veteran, to help Sully get VA benefits and stop this crazy carousel from spinning around John. We’d gone down to Summit together to visit John- and when John asked for my help, it was the first step to becoming his Power of Attorney to help manage his life for him. I didn’t know what I was getting myself into.
It was months before John was released the end of May 2016, and the first thing I had to do was find housing for a guy that was now, broke, homeless (another former POA and I had cleared out his old rental- which was a total disaster) Car-less (we’d turned back in the really nice Honda Civic he’d bought on an impulse at a ridiculous cost and interest rate) and phone-less (John’s hard on phones when he’s sick). Jennifer knew about a program called SSVF, or “Supportive Services for Veteran’s and Families” through the VA that was there to help vets secure housing. I had known nothing about the program, but actually knew the local director of it because of my involvement in VOB 108 (a veterans business owners group I’d helped found with 2 other paratroopers- Ranger Bob and Ranger Bill).
The SSVF programs initial reaction was he wasn’t eligible. They tried to claim that as an academy student, he wasn’t ever off “training status” for the required amount of service time to qualify as a veteran. I knew State Rep Jim Butler had gone to the Naval Academy, graduated, was learning to fly fighters when he first found out he was diabetic and was tossed from the military, but had full medical care and benefits- so I reached out to him. Jim is also a lawyer, and he quickly found the legal definition of veteran for me to present to the SSVF program to get John into it- but, by that time, I’d had him sleeping on my couch- and I had to personally sign for the place that Jennifer had found on Wayne Avenue for him to rent for $450 a month.
John didn’t love the place, but, we worked at putting him back on his feet. The list of people who helped was long, but I can’t say enough about the efforts of the Dayton chapter of the Blue Star Mothers of America. (full disclosure, my firm built and hosts their website) For those that don’t know what a blue star mother is- it’s the mother of an active duty service member. This is the one time you don’t want the gold star- which is what your blue one becomes when your child dies in service to his country. They came through with the deposit on the place, and I paid the first months rent and co-signed on the place. The BSM women also supplied him with every kitchen thing he’d need. Others pitched in, Scott Sliver an old friend, who is a pastor and runs a food bank, brought him a starter package to fill his fridge. SSVF finally kicked in and got him a new mattress to replace the one he’d been sleeping on- which had belonged to his dad and was at least 20 years old.
Jennifer and I worked hard to find him services, including from the Montgomery County Veterans Service Office- a taxpayer funded resource for vets in need. It was so much work just to fill out their initial paperwork, that Jen and I later went back to them to explain that their processes were a barrier to actually delivering their much needed services. I filmed it and posted it – here it is starting with Jen’s part.
It was after her performance in front of the MCVSC, that I’d gained an ally, a fellow warrior against the system. It was her plea on John’s behalf that made me trust her with everything. It was also about the same time my father went into the VA for his last three months of his life.
During that time, I had to run my business, take care of my mother who’s dementia was getting worse, and beginning on working on trying to land the Dayton Public Schools marketing contract with the new Superintendent Rhonda Corr. Jen stepped up. When I went to Israel in July for a cousin’s wedding (my first trip- and made possible by a generous offer of a family buddy pass by the new C.O. of VOB 108- Mike Nichols who was a Delta 777 pilot) Jen had POA over my mom- and made sure she took her meds and took her out to see my dad every day I was gone.
There should have been some warning signs of what was about to happen. One of my clients who was always a bit overly dramatic and all over the map told me that Jen had asked her for a job and bad mouthed me. Also, my previous charity case in life, Eric, who I’d been an unofficial “big brother” to for 28 years since he was 10, had clashed at every instance with Jen. He’d asked me to bail out his storage locker with his painting equipment- my condition for the loan was to come in and paint my two bathrooms in the office – without drama or interruption in the next week. Instead, he and Jen had a huge fight when he came in- while I wasn’t there, and the painting didn’t get done. Lesson to the wise – when two sociopaths try to enter the same space, their bad karma collides with a nuclear like force. I’d basically given up on Eric, who had his own mental health demons- and was tired of him blaming me for his woes which led him to do things like cook meth in the rental he was living in behind my office. I’d said that if I’m the cause of your troubles- I’ll just exit your life and they should get better (nothing changed- he’s still struggling).
Dad died at 8:10 am Wednesday Aug 18. The bid for DPS was due on Friday Aug 20. Besides sleeping at the VA Hospice Tuesday night, I spent time at the office on Wednesday working on the bid. I also had my X-girlfriend show up with drunk that day with her own troubles. The bid went in Friday and despite being cheaper by a third and bringing in world class talent to do the turnaround, we lost the bid.
I’d hired a full-time videographer to get ready for the work, and had a small inheritance from my father to use. We bought some equipment, paid down debt, and were working hard at growing. I even sent her to Minneapolis to the National Veterans Small business engagement to try to network and get us work- investing about $3K in the ticket, the airfare, hotel, misc. costs plus collateral material to help us get government contracts. She instead took $500 out of an ATM- and probably bought drugs along with her trip to the Mall of America where she bought some other mementos like a hoodie from some punk rock donut shop.
Jen, had started stealing almost immediately after Dad’s check came in. In the end she stole $35K from me between September 2016 and Saturday Feb 18, 2017 when I came in to the office, opened a statement from a CC that I thought was closed and found she’d charged over $4K in one month (on a card with a $1000 limit) to buy tattoos, gas, car repairs, food, and her new Coach Handbag that she said her “boyfriend” bought her. Turns out her “boyfriend” was me- only I was the only one getting screwed in the relationship. She’d just attached my mothers debit card to her Apple Pay and ordered Chinese an hour before. She cooperated at first and gave me passwords to accounts that I didn’t even know the passwords to, I also found she stole money from John- who had recently gotten some back pay from Social Security. She said it was just a couple of hundred and she’d pay him back. Turns out it was $3K and she would do everything possible to avoid prosecution for the next 3 years.
It took me 2 weeks of 18 hour days to change every password, get statements, close accounts and report the theft. I slept very little.
The Dayton PD took my report that Sunday. They didn’t help me get back company property like a laptop, a iPhone 7, books, that she had taken home (a block away- where I’d helped her with a loan for the first months rent and deposit- so she could be near to help with Mom if something stopped me from being near). When the prosecutors took her to the Grand Jury- where the saying is- you can indict a ham sandwich, the grand jury somehow came back with “no true bill” – which amazed me, because as I left the jury room- one woman called out to me to assure me “everyone isn’t like her.”
Either Country Prosecutor Mat Heck and his cronies lied about the vote, or they swayed the jury into believing that somehow this was some kind of broken relationship. I was devastated. I believe it was a political F-U by Heck, the party boss. Even after my business insurance picked up some of it, I still have payments on $8,500 that weren’t covered because of the way she stole it. Getting John’s report in was harder, because he kept going in and out of the hospital. Even as POA- I couldn’t make the complaint.
In 2019, we finally got the complaint in and got a better prosecutor. Anthony “Tony” Schoen got the case and saw it through. When it came time to go to the grand jury- where they were going to let the defendant also speak (a rare privilege) I made sure that it wasn’t just me who explained what happened, Alex, who works for me, went in and put all doubts to rest that somehow Jen and I were anything other than boss-employer and friends. They indicted her. Schoen pressed charges, 4 felonies and 1 misdemeanor. Somehow, she still didn’t pull the higher felony charge for defrauding a known disabled person. She hired a lawyer (even with outstanding civil judgements) and delayed for as long as possible. She tried to have the evidence of her texts with me thrown out since she said she wasn’t read her Miranda rights (she hadn’t been arrested- just questioned) she asked for ILC (treatment In Lieu of Conviction) but was denied. She had gotten ILC for a drug charge where I had bailed her out in Jan of 2017, for having cocaine. Judge Richard Skelton failed me again. Judge Dennis Adkins, who founded the Montgomery County Veterans Court, was on this case and he showed her no mercy- when she finally made a plea of no contest on Wed May 27th. to the 4 felonies for stealing from Sully. She claimed remorse. She tried to shed tears on the stand. She did she does best- she lied again, even telling the judge she had a college degree.
Not long after that, her boyfriend at the time, a guy named Steve dumped her. She’d bought LP records for him on Ebay with Sully’s money- they were delivered to the office. I still have them, in the boxes. She found a stupid skinny desperate punk tattoo artist named Scott Woodward and moved in with him, in the back of his daddies West Carrollton house on Los Arrow Drive He works at Black Cloud Tattoo on North Dixie- where she sometimes worked. He knew all about her transgressions but married her anyway. I’d think twice about supporting him.
He sentenced her to the maximum of 5 years probation. She can’t contact me or Sully or be within 1000 feet of us. She’s to pay him $3K in restitution within the first year (she said she’d pay $300 a month), she can’t handle money, she has to complete drug and alcohol treatment, she has to be supervised on probation, she has to have a job, she can’t piss dirty or get drunk. If she fails, 4 one year prison terms- consecutively. John wants her to fail, I want it after she pays him back the $3k.
I told the judge it doesn’t really matter what she stole from me at this point. He acknowledged the fact that I’m also a Service Disabled Veteran, but, to me- it was an expensive lesson in trust and judgement. It’s also the reason I’ll go after Mat Heck at every chance I get. He’s an evil man, only outdone by Ms. Selhorst. I’ve got a civil judgement against her for $70K which has cost me $3K to get. Supposedly, two garnishments of $50 were taken- but never made it to me. My lawyer may as well keep it all, since he charges more than she pays. Sully has a judgement for $3k in civil court- which we can drop once she pays what she’s ordered to in criminal court.
Sully, got his 70% VA disability at the end of 2018, and it was increased to 100% a year later. He now owns his own house, a car, has a phone, and has total wrap around health care for life. Since August of last year, in a last ditch effort to keep him out of being institutionalized, I took over giving him his meds everyday. At 10 am and 10 pm – we see each other. I also help with his grocery shopping, and try to make sure he’s eating some real meals a few times a week (he’s not capable of cooking much more than Chef Boyardee) and he’s been my quarantine buddy. After clearing his credit report, his credit score is equal to mine (only as of this week- Jen lost me 200 points by almost bankrupting me- it took 3 years to climb back out), he has money in the bank, he’s seeing his kid again, he’s only been hospitalized once since August of 2019 compared to 8 times in the previous 2 years.
There have been times when I was scared shit-less of John. Just before he trashed the house I co-signed on, he threatened me physically- and the 10 cops who were there- wouldn’t do anything. People told me to just forget about him. Alex, my trusty employee, reminded me, you knew he was sick when you signed up for this, has helped keep me focused.
But, that’s not the reason for this post. It’s to make sure that if a woman named Jennifer Lynn Selhorst, or Jennifer Lynn Woodward with a bunch of tattoos comes in to apply for a job, you know that she’s never to be trusted. Sorry to share this post that WYSO featured her in recently about getting a job. If you have a job making big rocks into little rocks, or being a trash collector- maybe you can hire her. But, never, ever, trust her.
If you think she may be using a different name, please contact me. I know her DOB, her SS#, her sons name, and can help you identify her by the visible tattoos (although I bought some I never saw) although since her new sucker husband is a tattooist, I doubt she’ll alter all of that bad crap on her- including her little name badge in her cleavage- which she said she could just write something in with a sharpie at will…. it should say “I steal from disabled veterans- kick me.”
BTW: The list of folks who’ve helped along the way on helping Sully is too long to list and I’ll probably leave a few out: Cody Smith who went through all the receipts- and spent a ton of time organizing her mess. Kim McCarthy who spent half a year reconstructing our books and getting us back together. Bill Daniels of Dayton’s Original Pizza Factory- who brought me and Sully together- and who helped me when my bank account was negative- and my world was collapsing. Alex Snell who helped testify in the 2nd Grand Jury- who told them there was no way to mistake this as some kind of busted dating thing. Terry Posey Jr.who took the civil case for Sully pro-bono and got us a civil judgement. Jim Butler who helped me get his veteran status verified with the VA. Enrique Rivera- who defended him on the bogus criminal charge that got him locked up first. The Blue Star Mothers- who showed up with a complete kitchen for his first apartment. Scott Sliver who brought him food. Hilary Johnson and Greg who stored his stuff and moved it. Scotty Steffes who helped with the car and the initial apartment cleanout- it wasn’t his first rodeo with John. Phyllis Tonne who let him rent her home- even after destroying the last one- and then selling it to him at a fair price. The docs and nurses at the VA and the staff of 7 South. Tony Schoen and Judge Adkins who did the right thing. Kim Francois, who is a gold star mother and helps keep John’s house clean. Matt Miller at Carl’s Body Shop who helped fix and store one of John’s cars while he was at Summit. Rob Scott, who helped him finance his truck, when he was broke. There are lots of people who stepped up, but only one who stole.
If you are doing a background check, or need to identify her, here’s a photo gallery of the grinch who stole from two service disabled veterans. She has multiple names, Jennifer Lynn Selhorst, Jennifer Lynn Scaeff, Jennifer Lynn Woodward. As she changes her looks, please snap photos and send them my way so I can update this gallery. Her most prized tattoo is Carrie Fisher’s signature on her right shoulder. She’s a huge Star Wars geek.