Man Sentenced for Failing to Pay Over $117,000 in Child Support

October 1, 2019

Jason Daniel LeCompte, of Wesson, must repay $117,079.57 for over seven years’ worth of missed child support payments, Attorney General Jim Hood announced.

 

LeCompte, 46, pleaded guilty Monday to three felony counts of non-support of a child. Rankin County Circuit Court Judge John H. Emfinger sentenced LeCompte to five years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections with five years suspended on post-release supervision for each count to run concurrent.

 

“Taking care of your children is not an option in Mississippi,” General Hood said. “Parents are required by law to uphold their monetary responsibility to their children or we’ll make them. Thank you to Judge Emfinger for making this man pay what he owes his children.”

 

This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Dana Sims of the AG’s Child Desertion Unit.

 

The Office of the Attorney General prosecutes cases regarding unpaid child support when all other avenues are exhausted or the case has been referred by the Department of Human Services. If you have a complaint regarding unpaid child support, please contact the DHS hotline at 877-882-4916.


Second Arrest Made for Embezzlement at MDOT

September 25, 2019

A former employee of the Mississippi Department of Transportation was booked into the Hinds County jail following an indictment charging him with embezzlement, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

Jarrod Wayne Ravencraft, 49, of Jackson, turned himself in to authorities Wednesday following his indictment by a Hinds County grand jury on one count of embezzlement. Ravencraft is accused of converting to his own use more than $10,000 in gift cards between June 2017 through March 2018 while employed by the Mississippi Department of Transportation. The gift cards were the property of the department.

If convicted, Ravencraft faces up to 20 years in prison. A charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case was investigated by Larry Ware of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division. Assistant Attorney General Stanley Alexander will handle prosecution.


Former MDOT Employee Arrested for Embezzlement

September 24, 2019

A former employee of the Mississippi Department of Transportation was booked into the Hinds County jail following an indictment charging her with embezzlement, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

Selena Standifer, 40, of Brandon, turned herself in to authorities Friday following her indictment by a Hinds County grand jury on one count of embezzlement. Standifer is accused of converting to her own use more than $1,000 in gift cards in December 2015 while employed by the Mississippi Department of Transportation. The gift cards were the property of the department.

If convicted, Standifer faces up to 20 years in prison. A charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case was investigated by Larry Ware of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division. Assistant Attorney General Stanley Alexander will handle prosecution.


Waynesboro Man Arrested for Sexually Abusing a Vulnerable Person

September 24, 2019

A Waynesboro man faces 15 years in prison for sexual battery of a vulnerable person, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

Theodoric Davis, 47, turned himself in to authorities Monday after a Wayne County grand jury indicted him on one count of sexual battery. The indictment alleges Davis touched a vulnerable person without the victim’s consent for the purpose of gratifying his lust, while employed as a contract transporter.

Davis was booked into the Wayne County jail. If convicted, he faces up to 15 years in prison. A charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case was investigated by Trey Rogers with the AG’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit with assistance of the arrest by the Wayne County Sheriff’s Department. Prosecution will be handled by Special Assistant Attorneys General Mark Ward and Parker Wiseman.

 


Brandon Man Pleads to Possessing Child Pornography

September 13, 2019

Joshua Daniel Barrett, of Brandon, will spend five years in prison for possessing child pornography, Attorney General Jim Hood announced.

Barrett pleaded guilty Thursday to a bill of information to one count of child exploitation. A bill of information means the defendant agrees to waive the indictment process. Madison County Circuit Judge John Emfinger sentenced the 34-year-old to 10 years in custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with five years to serve. Barrett must also pay $1,000 to the Crime Victims Fund, $1,000 to the Children’s Trust Fund, and register as a sex offender.

Barrett was arrested in March by investigators with the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations, with assistance from the Attorney General’s Cybercrime Unit, and the Rankin County Sheriff’s Office. Investigators discovered multiple child sexual abuse images on his cell phone, which he was obtaining through chat messaging apps using the screenname “horneypervert”.

“No child predator is safe in our state, even if they attempt to hide behind a screenname on one or several apps downloaded to their phone,” General Hood said. “We applaud the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations and Rankin County Sheriff’s Office for their hard work on this case. I also thank Judge Emfinger for putting another child predator behind bars.”

This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn of the AG’s Cybercrime Unit.

 


Hattiesburg Woman Arrested for Stealing from a Vulnerable Person

September 12, 2019

A Hattiesburg woman faces 10 years in prison for allegedly stealing money from a vulnerable man for whom she was managing his finances, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

Elaine Dozier, 56, was arrested Wednesday by AG Medicaid Fraud Control Unit investigators following her indictment by a Forrest County grand jury for one count of felony exploitation of a vulnerable person. The indictment alleges Dozier was stealing money from the victim, who resides at a health and rehab center in Hattiesburg.

Dozier was booked into the Forrest County Detention Center. If convicted, she faces up to 10 years in prison and $10,000 in fines. A charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case was investigated by Trey Rogers and will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorneys General Parker Wiseman and Mark Ward of the AG’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.


Attorney General’s Office Releases Reeves Road Report After Independent Reviews by Two Former Supreme Court Justices

September 11, 2019

The Office of Attorney General placed on its website today a nine-page opinion written by former Mississippi Supreme Court Justice David Chandler, after Chandler and former Mississippi Supreme Court Chief Justice Edwin Lloyd Pittman, who also served as attorney general, reviewed an accompanying 43-page investigative report on whether Lieutenant Governor Tate Reeves directly or indirectly, through the effort of his staff or others, was involved in or unduly influenced an attempt to build a $2 million frontage road in Flowood, Miss., which would have connected Reeves’ home within a private subdivision to a nearby shopping center.

Due to the public and press interest in this matter, Attorney General Hood asked the two distinguished former Mississippi Supreme Court justices to provide a bipartisan review of this report and to offer their legal opinions based on the evidence presented in the report.

Prior to serving as Chief Justice from 2001-2004, Justice Pittman was elected attorney general in 1984, secretary of state in 1980, and state treasurer in 1976.  During Justice Pittman’s tenure as attorney general, he brought several actions for the enforcement of section 109 of the Mississippi Constitution, which addresses conflicts of interest by legislators and local government board members being on both sides of a contract in which they have an interest.  This litigation resulted in the consolidation of these cases and those brought by the Ethics Commission into landmark section 109 case of Frazier v. State by and through Pittman, 504 So.2d 675 (Miss. 1987).

Justice Chandler served on the Supreme Court from 2009-2015 and served on the Mississippi Court of Appeals from 2001-2008. In 2015, Republican Gov. Phil Bryant appointed Justice Chandler as the first executive commissioner of the Mississippi Department of Child Protection Services, where he served until 2017. Justice Chandler is an adjunct professor at Mississippi College School of Law.

Justice Chandler sent his 10-page opinion to the Office of Attorney General on Tuesday, September 10, which reads in part:

“A reasonable factfinder could review the evidence in the report and conclude that Lieutenant Governor Reeves wanted the frontage road to be built and additionally applied political pressure to that end. However, I do not believe any evidence in the report establishes that the Lieutenant Governor received or could have potentially received any amount of compensation for the project to an extent that liability arises under Section 109 of the Mississippi Constitution…

“With the above in mind, I will note one potential issue. According to the report, Lieutenant Governor Reeves and his spouse ‘own a membership share in the Oakridge Property Owners’ Association, In. (sic), (OPOA).’ This shareholder membership and the actions of OPOA could potentially implicate Section 109.”

Chief Justice Pittman stated that Section 109 of the Mississippi Constitution may come into play, which provides that:

” …no public officer or member of the Legislature shall be interested, directly or indirectly, in any contract with the State, or any district, county, city or town thereof, authorized by any law passed or order made by any board of which he may be or may have been a member, during the term for which he shall have been chosen, or within one year after the expiration of such term.”

As former attorney general, Chief Justice Pittman observed that the Office of Attorney General properly considered the matter and removed partisan considerations by leaving the matter to the next attorney general, who will take office in the next six months.

Attorney General Hood thanked Justices Pittman and Chandler for their expertise, time and diligence in reviewing the report.

“My view is that the report speaks for itself. It should be read by the press and public, which can make their own judgment as to the actions and conduct of Lt. Governor Reeves.”

The Office of Attorney General will take no further action on this matter.  Any action which might be filed by the next attorney general would allow the state to subpoena emails from the Office of Lieutenant Governor and the Senate and secure depositions, the lack of which impeded the present investigation.

Exhibits to the Attorney General’s report:

A Ware Case Summary

B Lt. Governor Letter

C Reeves Response to Litigation Hold

D Senate Response to Litigation Hold

E Attachment to Frontage Roads Message (map)

F Hall Letter

G McGrath Letter to Reeves

H Reeves Press Conference

I List of Priorities

J Brand to Rhoads

K McNair to Seal

L David Seal Email

M Drake to Loflin

N Oakridge Covenants_Part1;  N Oakridge Covenants_Part2N Oakridge Covenants_Part3

O McLemore to Brand

P Brand to Oakridge Homeowners

Q OPOA Minutes September 2017

R Brand to McLemore

S Senate Bill 2002 (Special Session)

T Ballot Signed by E Reeves


AG Jim Hood Joins 49 Other Attorneys General in Google Multistate Bipartisan Antitrust Investigation

September 9, 2019

Attorney General Jim Hood is joining 49 other attorneys general as a lead state in a multistate, bipartisan investigation of tech giant Google’s business practices in accordance with state and federal antitrust laws.

The bipartisan coalition announced plans to investigate Google’s overarching control of online advertising markets and search traffic that may involve anticompetitive behavior, harming consumers. Legal experts from each state will work in cooperation with federal authorities to assess competitive conditions for online services and ensure that Americans have access to free digital markets.

“We, attorneys general, have a duty to protect the privacy rights of consumers and to ensure a market free of anticompetitive conduct that may be harming the public,” General Hood said. “I have investigated several different concerns regarding Google in the past seven years, including litigation over unauthorized data collection. This repeated conduct must stop. A strong drive to succeed is the American way, but not when you may be harming others and refusing to play fairly.”

This investigation will initially determine whether Google, or any other business entity controlled by Google, illegally established or maintained a monopoly or restrained trade in internet advertising. The investigation will examine Google’s dominance throughout the pipeline from advertiser to publisher, including potentially stifling emerging rival ad technologies.