A Minot man has been sentenced to 13 months in prison and ordered to repay $133,000 that he diverted from a trust fund set up for his disabled brother.

The Maine Attorney General’s Office on Friday announced the April 29 sentencing of John M. Look, 52, who pleaded guilty at the Cumberland County Courthouse to one count of Class B theft and one count of Class D misuse of entrusted property.

According to the AG’s office, Look became the conservator and legal guardian of his brother when their mother died in 2008. The brother, who was not identified, suffered a serious brain injury from a motorcycle accident as a teenager and has been living in a residential treatment facility for decades.

Upon her death, their mother left a life insurance policy to benefit Look’s brother, but named Look as the conservator. That policy made two payments into a trust for the brother, one in September 2011, the other in February 2012.

Look transferred money multiple times from that trust into his own checking account for his personal use between September 2011 and December 2012.

It’s not clear what the money was used for. Look’s attorney, Roger Brunelle, did not return a call for comment Friday. A phone number for Look could not be found.

Assistant Attorney General Carrie Carney, who prosecuted the case, said she could not comment on where the money went.

“If we had gone to trial, that would have come out, but now it’s part of bank records that are considered confidential,” Carney said.

Attorney General Janet Mills, in announcing the sentence, said the case highlights the “great responsibility” given to guardians.

“When anyone is granted the power and authority to serve as the legal guardian of another person, they take on great responsibility to act in the best interest of that person,” she said in a statement Friday. “Having access to the finances of someone who cannot make decisions for themselves does not give you the right to spend that money as you please, let alone to use it to line your own pockets.”

The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general’s office.

Look’s actual sentence was six years, with all but 13 months suspended. He also faces three years of probation and must repay $133,000, some of which could go to the residential facility where his brother lives.

Mills said cases like this are difficult but important to prosecute. Anyone with questions should seek out the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, which has guides for people who are serving as powers of attorney, trustees, court-appointed guardians and government fiduciaries.

Eric Russell can be contacted at 791-6344 or at:

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