Rankin County Resident Going to Prison for Child Exploitation

March 25, 2014
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A Rankin County man is going to prison after pleading guilty to child exploitation, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Thomas Ed Williamson, age 66, of Brandon, appeared before Judge John H. Emfinger in Rankin County Circuit Court Monday and pleaded guilty to two counts of child exploitation. Williamson admitted to possession of over 100 images of child porn on his home computer.

Williamson was sentenced to ten years on each count, with each count running concurrently, with five to serve, five suspended and five years post release probation. He must also pay $1,000 to the crime victims’ compensation fund, all costs of court and register as a sex offender.

Prosecution and investigation of the case was handled by the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Division/Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.


Jefferson Davis County Resident Arrested for Selling Counterfeit Goods

March 25, 2014
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A Jefferson Davis County resident has been arrested for the sale of counterfeit goods in the Columbia, MS area, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Willie “Bo” Lorenzo Greer, 60, of Jefferson Davis County was arrested Friday following an undercover investigation by the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division. Greer is accused of selling the items at a Flea Market in Columbia. Greer is charged with one count of forging any trademarks and labels or other markings used by the owner of the label in the manufacture of goods. While executing the search warrant, Investigators seized multiple items in alleged counterfeit goods, including designer handbags, CD’s/DVD’s, NFL Jerseys, and designer sunglasses.

If found guilty on the current charge, Greer faces five years in prison and $10,000 in fines. As with all cases, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Greer was booked into the Marion/Walthall County Detention Center. Bond was set for $10,000.

The case is being investigated by Investigator Shannon Beaver of the Consumer Protection Division and will be prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Patrick Beasley. The arrest was made with the assistance of Investigators from the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division. Other agencies assisting the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office include Homeland Security Investigations and Columbia Police Department.

 


Pass Christian Resident Charged with Insurance Fraud

March 19, 2014
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A Pass Christian woman is being charged with insurance fraud, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Paulina Wilkerson, 40, of Pass Christian, turned herself in today to authorities at the Harrison County Detention Center following her indictment by a Harrison County Grand Jury on Insurance and Wire Fraud. The indictment alleges that Wilkerson executed a scheme to defraud Colonial Life & Accident Insurance Company of insurance proceeds to which she was not entitled. The wire fraud charges accuse Wilkerson of transmitting fraudulent documents across jurisdictional lines in order to receive payment for injuries allegedly received in a work related accident.

If convicted of the charges, Wilkerson faces up to three years for insurance fraud and up to five years for wire fraud. As with all cases, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case is being investigated by Tonya Mangus and will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Larry Baker of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division.


AG Hood Represents States at United Nations

March 18, 2014

Jim Hood, Attorney General, Mississippi

Attorney General Jim Hood recently joined the United States delegation appearing before the United Nations Human Rights Committee in Geneva, Switzerland.

The delegation appeared before the U.N. in Geneva on March 13-14 to help the U.S. Government address questions regarding the implementation of treaty obligations under the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR). The delegation was led by the State Department and included representatives from Homeland Security, Department of Justice, Department of Defense and Health & Human Services.

Every member nation of the ICCPR must update the Human Rights Committee every four years. This presentation was the first at which state and local governments from the United States were part of the delegation. The State Department paid for the trip. Although the covenant covers human rights involved in issues such as the use of drones and torture, many of the issues raised by the Committee involved actions and legislation passed by states.

Attorney General Hood addressed the work being done with the ICCPR at the state and local levels. Attorney General Hood has worked on a variety of areas related to the rights in the Covenant including civil rights, election law, human trafficking and domestic violence. As President-elect of the National Association of Attorneys General, Attorney General Hood is an active participant in the national organization of the U.S. state attorneys general.

Attorney General Hood responded to the committee’s questions concerning the death penalty, domestic violence, human trafficking, corporal punishment, zero tolerance in schools, life without parole for juvenile offenders, and reinstatement of voting rights for felons.

“It was indeed an honor to be one of the attorneys to defend America’s human rights record,” said Attorney General Hood. “It was rewarding to clarify many international misconceptions about Mississippi’s civil rights record and that of other states and our federal government.”

In his closing comments the Committee Chairperson, Sir Nigel Rodley, noted that the delegation spoke with a “high level of experience and authority”, “with eloquence, with commitment and with ideas”. He noted that he especially appreciated the “valuable perspective” brought to the discussion by the participation of Attorney General Hood at the state level. Attorney General Hood kept his role in perspective by concluding, “While listening to Sir Nigel specifically brag about my participation to his Committee members, I looked down at my shoe and saw a little Chickasaw County mud on it. I guess they didn’t know what to make of a small town boy from Houlka, Mississippi.”

 


Bay St. Louis Man sentenced to Five years on False Pretenses Revocation in Hancock County

March 18, 2014
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A Hancock County resident has been incarcerated based on the revocation of his 2012 False Pretenses conviction, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Brad Dale Strong, 34, of Bay St. Louis was brought before Circuit Judge John Gargiulo in Hancock County Monday by the Mississippi Attorney General Office’s Consumer Protection Division.  Strong previously pled to False Pretenses based upon a home repair job where checks from the homeowners were fraudulently obtained.  Judge Gargiulo sentenced Strong to five years of probation and $10,000 restitution in 2012.

Judge Gargiulo allowed Strong to remain on probation as long as he paid the required monthly restitution into the Court.  After Strong ceased the required monthly payments, the Consumer Protection Division petitioned to have Strong revoked.  Once Judge Gargiulo was convinced that Strong would not comply with the Court’s orders, he revoked the entire probation requiring Strong to serve the remainder of his sentence, five years, in the Mississippi Department of Corrections.

This case was initially investigated by Mississippi Attorney General’s Office Investigator Duncan Foster. The revocation was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorneys General Crystal Utley Secoy and Mark Ward of the Consumer Protection Division.


Tate County Resident Arrested For Selling Counterfeit Goods

March 18, 2014
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A Tate County resident has been arrested for the sale of a controlled substance and the sale of counterfeit goods in the Senatobia area, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Keith Roderick Danner , 41, of Senatobia was arrested following an undercover investigation in Senatobia which lead to a stash of alleged controlled substances and counterfeit goods in the defendant’s car and several properties Danner is alleged to have been using to advance counterfeit operations. While executing search warrants, Investigators were able to seize approximately $ 60,000 in alleged counterfeit goods, including designer handbags and jeans, Polo shirts and Northface jackets.

If found guilty, Danner faces up to 30 years in prison and up to $ 270,000 in fines. As with all cases, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Law enforcement officers from the Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division, Senatobia Police Department and Homeland Security Investigations operating as the Attorney General’s Knock Out Knock Offs Task Force jointly worked the investigation that lead to the arrest of Danner.

This case is being investigated by Mississippi Attorney General’s Office Investigator Lee McDivitt and Narcotics Detective Matthew Cote of the Senatobia Police Department, and will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Patrick Beasley who is Director of the Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division.


Simpson County Caregiver Arrested for Culpable Negligence Manslaughter

March 13, 2014
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A Simpson County caregiver has been arrested and charged with culpable negligence manslaughter involving the death of a patient, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Rebecca Walker, 56, of Pinola was arrested Wednesday by investigators with the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit following indictment by the Simpson County Grand Jury. Walker was indicted for allegedly pushing the victim to the floor during an altercation at a personal care home in Simpson County where Walker worked as a caregiver. The alleged victim was a patient suffering from severe mental health disabilities. The indictment accuses Walker of pinning the victim to the floor and then applying sufficient force to the back of the victim’s neck for enough time so as to cause the victim’s death by asphyxiation.

If convicted, Walker faces up 20 years behind bars. As with all cases, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.


COMMUNITY SHRED DAYS HELP HUNDREDS OF MISSISSIPPIANS COMBAT IDENTITY THEFT

March 11, 2014
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Attorney General Jim Hood is pleased to announce the results of Mississippi’s eighth annual Community Shred Days held statewide March 7 & 8.

“We are happy to report that our numbers are up significantly this year from past years,” said Attorney General Hood. “Thank you to all who came out to support the event. We especially appreciate our sponsors support of this event so that we can help Mississippians avoid becoming victims of identity theft.”

The Attorney General’s Office would like to give an extra thank you to Cintas for stepping in at the last minute when the former partner stepped out saying they could no longer offer to provide the service for free.

Here are the final numbers of pounds shredded and consumers helped this year:

POUNDS

  • Jackson……………………36,750 lbs (up from 20,000 last year)
  • Tupelo……………………..21,000 lbs (up from 6,900 last year)
  • Meridian………………….12,600 lbs (up from 5,000 last year)
  • D ’Iberville………………..8,000 lbs (up from 3,720 last year)
  • Hattiesburg………………8,000 lbs (up from 6,500 last year)
  • Vicksburg………………….7,700 lbs (down from 8,000 last year)

Total pounds shred 2014……………………94,050

Total pounds shred 2013……………………50,120

CONSUMERS

  • Jackson= 441 (up from 243 last year)
  • Tupelo= 355 (down from 375 last year)
  • Meridian= 216 (up from 84 last year)
  • D’Iberville= 185 (up from 118 last year)
  • Hattiesburg= 180 (up from 159 last year)
  • Vicksburg= 136 (down from 139 last year)

Total consumers 2014………………………1,513

Total consumers 2013……………………….1,118

New to the event this year was the sponsorship of Magnolia Data Solutions (MDS). MDS is Mississippi’s only certified electronic recycling facility. During the Community Shred day, MDS offered consumers a way to destroy their electronic items that contained sensitive data. Here are the numbers reported by MDS:

EQUIPMENT DESTROYED (Jackson event)

  • Computer/laptops – 137 units
  • Hard drives shredded on site – approximately 261 units
  • Cell phones shredded on site – approximately 52 units
  • Backup tapes/cds/cassettes – approximately 30 pounds

Cards were made available to consumers at all other locations. These cards will allow them a ONE-TIME opportunity to bring up to five of their electronic items to the MDS Jackson MS facility. The cards expire January 1, 2015.

This year’s event was a partnership between the Attorney General’s Office, Cintas, BancorpSouth, Magnolia Data Solutions, the Secretary of State’s Office, ClearPoint Credit Counseling Solutions (formerly CredAbility), Better Business Bureau (BBB), the Mississippi State University Extension Service, Wal-Mart, The Home Depot, Leadership Council on Aging, Mississippi State University Extension Service, BancorpSouth Insurance Services, and other Mississippi Consumer Education Partnership members.