Booneville Nurse Aid Charged for Felony Exploitation of a Vulnerable Person and Illegally Obtaining Patient’s Drugs

October 28, 2015

Charlotte Godsey, 39, of Booneville, turned herself in to the Prentiss County Sheriff’s Office Tuesday and faces charges for felony exploitation of a vulnerable person and alleged possession of a controlled substance, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

The charges allege that Godsey, while employed as a nurse’s aid at the Booneville Assisted Living Facility, obtained more than $250 from a resident without authorization and converted it to her own personal use. Godsey is also accused of illegally obtaining Oxycotin and Hydrocodone, both schedule two controlled substances, that were prescribed to and purchased for two patients of the facility. 

Following her arrest, Godsey was allowed to post a $20,000 property bond. Her arraignment is scheduled for November 19. If convicted of the charges against her, Godsey faces up to 15 years behind bars.  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 Joe Sanderson and prosecuted by Myrick Jackson of the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office Medicaid Control Fraud Unit.


Hinds County Resident Convicted for Child Pornography

October 23, 2015

Cameron Travelstead, 25, of Jackson, is facing up to 40 years in prison after his conviction in a child pornography case, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

Hinds County Circuit Judge Jeff Weil, Jr. recently set Travelstead’s sentencing for October 29, 2015.

A Hinds County Jury convicted Travelstead of one count of possession of child pornography.  The five day trial was presided over by Judge Weil.

The case stemmed from a joint investigation involving the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit/Internet Crimes Against Children task force, the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office (an affiliate of the task force), and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).  The investigation revealed that Travelstead was downloading and sharing hundreds of images and videos of child pornography.

“Our ICAC network is extensive and helps law enforcement throughout our state and nationwide in the fight against child pornography,” said Attorney General Hood. “We appreciate the hard work of the Hinds County District Attorney’s Office, the FBI and the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office as well as each of our local law enforcement agencies, as we track down these child predators and bring them to justice.”

The case was tried jointly by Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn and Jamie McBride of the Hinds County District Attorney’s Office.

Attorney General Jim Hood Advises Consumers to Know the Facts Before Investing in Solar Energy Systems

October 20, 2015

Attorney General Jim Hood is offering Mississippi residents factors to consider in purchasing residential solar energy systems, including cautioning consumers to be alert for potential consumer fraud schemes.

In an effort to use alternative energy sources for cost-savings and environmental reasons, many consumers are reducing their energy usage and using more renewable energy by installing solar generating units on their homes and property. Photovoltaic systems (“PV system” or “solar system”) supply energy through nature; therefore, the energy is free and abundant.

Like many other industries, the growing popularity of solar has caused some unethical businesses to enter into the market. To lure customers into a lease, some of these unscrupulous solar companies often claim that consumers can potentially reduce costly electric bills by utilizing various federal, state and local tax credits and rebates.  This can be deceptive, however, since the solar company is usually the entity which receives the tax benefits and incentives. In addition, for cash purchases, the price of PV systems can range anywhere from $10,000 to $60,000 or more.

“Before consumers make a significant investment in a solar system, they should research their options to make sure they are in fact getting cost savings and meeting their goals of environmental sustainability.  While there are some exemplary companies, other solar companies are using misleading sale pitches to entice consumers into paying for overpriced PV system agreements or failing to disclose how various subsidies, government programs and rate making practices may affect the future cost of energy for the consumer,” said Attorney General Hood. “These companies’ deceptive practices often result in a higher energy price tag for consumers after installing the system than they had before.”

Attorney General Hood encourages all solar companies operating within Mississippi to review the Solar Energy Industries Association’s Solar Business Code.  This code lays out best practices and ethical standards for solar companies.  The Code can be found at:

There are many factors to consider before making a decision to go solar. Attorney General Hood offers some basic tips to help keep you from becoming a victim of consumer fraud if you plan to purchase a PV system:

  • As with every product or service, comparison shop with several solar companies to make sure you are getting the best deal. Obtaining a written estimate from at least two companies will allow you to compare the cost and installation of the same size system between two companies. Be sure to request that major components are itemized.
  • Inquire about tax credits. Consult with a tax expert to verify your tax credit eligibility and calculate the correct figures before you enter into a purchase agreement with the solar company.  Beware of guarantees that 50% or more of the cost of the solar system is covered by tax credits.  In order to receive tax credits, you must have taxable income.  Often, retirees or young families do not have enough taxable income to fully realize the tax benefits.
  • Be more skeptical of installers that promise no out-of-pocket costs prior to even reviewing your specific situation.
  • Beware of promises that your utility company will be issuing you a check every month for the electricity that you provide to the local utility grid. Ask what will happen if the solar company promises a certain percentage of savings from your utility bill and the amount of savings is not achieved.
  • Be aware of the terms of solar panel leasing.  Solar panel leasing is advertised as a way to obtain a solar system without having to put any money down; yet, the consumer should be aware that he or she is still responsible for the lease costs.
  • Consider reviewing the Solar Energy Industry Association’s Consumer Guide to going solar:  You may also wish to visit the solar industry’s consumer protection resource center:

If you believe you have been a victim of consumer fraud in the sale or lease of a solar system, contact the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office at  1-800-281-4418. Click here to file a consumer complaint form.

West Point Man Going to Prison for Child Exploitation

October 16, 2015

Marcus Wilburn Knight, 50, of West Point, is going to prison for child exploitation, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

Knight recently appeared before Clay County Circuit Court Judge Lee J. Howard and entered an open plea of guilty to one count of child exploitation. When a defendant enters an open plea, he/she refuses to accept the state’s recommendation and instead throws himself on the mercy of the court. 

Judge Howard sentenced Knight to serve a term of five years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections with three years to serve followed by two years of suspension under the terms and conditions of post release supervision. Knight was ordered to pay a $50,000 fine. Additionally, he must also register as a sex offender upon his release from imprisonment.

After receiving a tip from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, investigators with the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit conducted an investigation leading to the arrest of Knight. The investigation revealed that Knight had uploaded child pornography images to his Google (Gmail) account.

This case was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorneys General Brandon Ogburn and Linda Davis of the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit.


Former Greenville Police Officer Arrested for Death of her Husband

October 14, 2015

Kvonya Moore, 41, of Greenville, has been arrested and charged with first degree murder for the death of her husband, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Moore, a former officer with the Greenville Police Department, was arrested Tuesday by agents of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations and the Washington County Sheriff’s Office. Moore is accused of shooting her husband in the head with her service weapon causing his death.  The incident happened at their home on May 2, 2015.

Moore has been booked into the Washington County jail.  Her bond is set at $500,000. If convicted, Moore faces up to life in prison. As with all cases, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case was investigated by agents of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigations and Attorney General’s Investigator Perry Tate of the Public Integrity Division.  It will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Marvin Sanders.


Pearl River County Man Faces Embezzlement Charges

October 9, 2015

Paul Bradley Holliday, 47, of Poplarville, has been has been indicted by a Pearl River County Grand Jury on three counts of embezzlement, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Holliday turned himself in to Pearl River County authorities Wednesday, October 7, following an investigation by the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division. Holliday is alleged to have embezzled approximately $268,965.97, from 2006-2009, while employed with a construction company in Poplarville, MS.  He was subsequently indicted on three separate counts of embezzlement.  

If convicted of counts one and two, Holliday faces up to 20 years behind bars and a $25,000 fine on each count and up to five years behind bars and a $5,000 fine on count three. He was released on a $25,000 bond and is awaiting trial. As with all cases, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case was investigated by Ronnie Odom and will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Larry Baker of the Mississippi Attorney General’s Insurance Integrity Unit. 



October 8, 2015
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Attorney General Jim Hood continues to work tirelessly with other states’ Attorneys General to address the lack of cybersecurity and ensure consumers are protected in the wake of the data breaches.  Since 2005, the United States has experienced more than 4,600 known data breaches, compromising nearly a billion records. The numbers continue to surge in 2015. In response to the increase in data breaches, Attorney General Hood has compiled a Cybersecurity Guide that updates existing resources to address growing trends and responses in a single guide.  The Guide, which was developed with input from some of his fellow attorneys general, builds upon cybersecurity materials from the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), California, Illinois, and other sources.

“Any entity, whether big or small, can be the victim of a cybercrime. It has become second nature for most of us to lock our front doors when we leave the house.  Companies and agencies must take basic precautions to lock their computer systems and electronic data from cyber thieves. It is very important to train employees and not just assume they know computer security basics”, said Attorney General Hood.

The Guide was designed especially to help small businesses, but it may also be helpful to larger companies and government agencies as well.  The unique Guide includes a list of suggested standards, a list of what not to do and an appendix of important FTC cases which provide further guidance.

Additionally, the Guide provides:

  • An overview of cybersecurity threats facing small businesses.
  • A summary of several practices that help manage risks posed by these threats.
  • A response plan in the event of a cyber incident.

Standards include the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) Cyber Framework which the Department of Commerce created in collaboration with industry and in response to a 2013 Presidential Executive Order.

The Attorney General wants to remind businesses that:

  • Both the technology and nature of cyber-attacks are rapidly evolving.
  • No guide or advice is ever complete.
  • Monitoring cybersecurity updates on the resources listed in the Guide will help stay up to date.

Click here for a copy of the Guide.

Attorney General Hood Warns Mississippi Residents of Experian/T-Mobile Data Breach

October 8, 2015

Attorney General Jim Hood is warning Mississippians today of a recent data breach reported by T-Mobile and Experian affecting at least 15 million users nationwide and at least 89,000 Mississippians.

On September 15, 2015, Experian discovered that an unauthorized party accessed T-Mobile data housed in an Experian server that contained the personal information of more than 15 million T-Mobile users. Information that was breached includes customers’ names, addresses, social security numbers, dates of birth, identification numbers (typically a driver’s license number, military ID, or passport number) and additional information used in T-Mobile’s own credit assessment. According to Experian, the consumer credit database was not accessed in this incident and no payment card or banking information was obtained.

Mississippi residents who applied for service or device financing at T-Mobile USA, Inc. from Sept. 1, 2013 through Sept. 16, 2015 are advised to check their credit history and monitor their accounts. Anyone who receives a letter notifying them that their personal information was compromised or who applied for service during that time period described above could be impacted.

Experian and T-Mobile will offer affected consumers two years of credit monitoring and identity protection services at no cost. Experian will also waive the cost of freezing consumer’s credit to prevent a criminal from taking out a line of credit in a consumer’s name without permission. Visit or call Experian at (866)-369-0422 for more information about its credit monitoring.

For maximum protection, it is recommended to have both credit monitoring and a credit freeze in place.  Credit monitoring alerts consumers to fraud after the fact, so it’s better to also have a credit freeze already in place. A credit freeze requires the consumer to be contacted before a new line of credit is opened. 

 “We encourage impacted consumers to seek credit freezes as soon as possible, as well as take advantage of credit monitoring services,” said Attorney General Hood.

If you believe you are a victim of identity theft or any other scam, contact the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 601-359-4230 or toll free at 1-800-281-4418. Additional resources about protecting your identity can be found at