Three Meridian Residents Indicted for Insurance Fraud

June 17, 2016
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Kyle Johnson, 29, of Meridian

Three Meridian men have been arrested following their indictments for insurance fraud in Lauderdale County, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

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Toreno L. Griffin, 35, of Meridian

 

 

 

 

Toreno L. Griffin, 35, Kyle Johnson, 29, both residents of Meridian, were recently arrested by investigators with the Attorney General’s Insurance Fraud Unit following their indictments by a Lauderdale County Grand Jury.  Each was charged with one count of insurance fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.

Griffin and Johnson are accused of intending to gain a benefit for themselves to which they were not due by allegedly scheming to defraud GEICO Insurance Company by filing false claims for damages received in an automobile collision.

Griffin and Johnson were booked into the Lauderdale County Jail.  If convicted each defendant faces up to eight years in jail, five years for conspiracy and three years for insurance fraud and a total of $10,000 in fines.

Johnson faces additional charges in a separate indictment with the third defendant, Vanoy Adams, 22, of Meridian.  Each is charged with one count of insurance fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit insurance fraud.  The indictment alleges that Johnson and Adams worked together to appropriate a benefit to themselves to which they were not entitled by executing a scheme to defraud GEICO Insurance Company in that false insurance claims were filed for damages received in an automobile collision.

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Vanoy Adams, 22, of Meridian

If convicted, Adams faces up to five years for conspiracy and three years for insurance fraud in jail and a total of $10,000 in fines.  Johnson faces up to an additional eight years (five for conspiracy three for insurance fraud) and $10,000 in fines for a total of 16 years behind bars and a total of $20,000 in fines.

As with all cases, a charge is merely an accusation, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

These cases are being investigated by Kenneth West and will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Larry Baker of the Attorney General’s Insurance Fraud Unit.


Clinton Resident Arrested for Possession of Child Pornography

June 9, 2016
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Eric Len Wrigley, 33, of Clinton, has been arrested and charged with one count of child exploitation, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Wrigley was arrested Wednesday at his home by investigators of the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit/Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force with assistance of the Clinton Police Department.  Investigators executed a search warrant following an investigation of suspicious online activity and seized evidence relevant to the charge.

Wrigley was booked into the Hinds County Detention Center.  No bond has been set at this time. If convicted, he faces up to 40 years behind bars.  As with all cases, 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 will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn of the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit. 

 


Two Hinds County Women Charged with Medicaid Fraud

June 7, 2016
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Pictured left to right: Andria Jones, 38, of Jackson, and Jennifer Green, 36, of Pearl

Two Hinds County women were charged with Medicaid fraud and conspiracy to commit Medicaid fraud, Attorney General Jim Hood announced today.

Jennifer Green, 36, of Pearl, and Andria Jones, 38, of Jackson, were indicted by a Hinds County Grand Jury for three counts of Medicaid Fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit Medicaid Fraud.

Green and Jones are accused of submitting and conspiring to submit false claims to Medicaid under various codes on behalf of Tutoring, Assessment and Professional Services (TAPS), located in Jackson.  At the time crimes were allegedly committed, Green was the Director and Jones was the Assistant Director.

The women were booked into the Hinds County Jail with a bond set at $20,000.  The defendants each face possible sentences of five years and $50,000 in fines for each Medicaid fraud and conspiracy count for a total of 20 years and $200,000 in fines.  In addition, they could be required to pay restitution and penalties to the Medicaid program of more than $1,040,000.

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.

The case was investigated by Investigator Barrick Fortune, Auditor Teresa Matthews, Registered Nurse Tina Bennett and Analysts Mark Branning and Richard Cameron of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Special Assistant Attorney General Sue Perry is prosecuting the case.

 


Mathiston Man Arrested for Embezzlement by a Public Official

June 3, 2016
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Shane Box

Shane Box

JACKSON – The former Mathiston town marshal was arrested today for five counts of felony embezzlement by a public official, Attorney General Jim Hood announced.

Shane Box, 38, was arrested by investigators with the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division, with assistance from the Webster County Sheriff’s Office. He was booked into the Webster County Jail. Bond was set at $15,000 for each count, for a total of $75,000.

Box is accused of the embezzlement of five city-owned firearms while he was employed by the city, where he was also previously assistant fire chief.

The maximum sentence for embezzlement by a public official is 20 years in prison or a fine of $5,000 on each count.

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.

Investigator Roger Wade of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division investigated the case. Assistant Attorney General Stan Alexander will prosecute the case.

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Smithdale Man Arrested for Failure to Pay Child Support

June 3, 2016
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Clifton Arnold

Clifton Arnold

JACKSON – A Smithdale man accused of failing to pay nearly $26,000 in child support was arrested this week, Attorney General Jim Hood announced.

Clifton Farrel Arnold, 32, was arrested Wednesday and charged with two counts of felony nonsupport of a child. He is alleged to owe approximately $25,988 in back child support. Arnold was booked into the Pike County Jail and released on $5,000 bond.

If convicted of nonsupport of a child, Arnold faces a maximum sentence of 10 years in prison.

As with all cases, a defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Arnold was arrested by investigators Jerry Spell and Trey Mardis of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division. Special Assistant Attorney General Kimberly T. Purdie will prosecute the case.

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Two Women Arraigned on Medicaid Fraud Charges

June 3, 2016
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Angela Haydel

Angela Haydel

Shirley Daniels

Shirley Daniels

JACKSON – The owner of a Hinds County mental health provider and a licensed social worker employed by the company were formally charged today with Medicaid fraud and conspiracy to commit Medicaid fraud, Attorney General Jim Hood announced.

Shirley Daniels, 63, of Jackson, and Angela Haydel, 47, of Madison, were arrested in May for five counts of Medicaid fraud and one count of conspiracy. They were arraigned today in Hinds County Circuit Court.

Daniels is owner of Change Your World Mental Health in Jackson. Haydel is a licensed clinical social worker. Haydel is accused of conspiring with Daniels to submit claims on behalf of Change Your World to the state Medicaid program for mental-health services that Haydel did not provide.

The women each face possible sentences of five years in prison and $5,000 in fines for the conspiracy counts, and five years in prison and $50,000 in fines for each Medicaid fraud count. In addition, they could be required to pay restitution and penalties to the Medicaid program of more than $51,000. 

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. 

The case was investigated by Investigator Danny Welch, Auditor Gilda Reyes and Registered Nurse Tina Bennett of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. Special Assistant Attorney General Sue Perry is prosecuting the case.

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Meridian Man Convicted on Two Counts of Arson

June 2, 2016
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Wiggins photoJACKSON – Attorney General Jim Hood announced today that a Meridian man has been convicted of two counts of arson.

James William Wiggins, 52, entered an open plea to one count of first-degree arson and one count of second-degree arson before Lauderdale County Circuit Court Judge Lester Williamson.

Wiggins was convicted of intentionally burning two homes in Meridian that were owned by his son. The first fire was Aug. 23, 2013, and the second was on March 12, 2014. The defendant confessed to setting the fires.

Judge Williamson scheduled a sentencing hearing for July 6 in Lauderdale County Circuit Court.

Wiggins faces a potential sentence of up to 20 years in prison plus restitution for property damages for the first-degree arson conviction and up to 10 years in prison for the second-degree arson conviction.

“This man deliberately set fire to two houses, and he will face the consequences of his criminal acts,” Attorney General Hood said. “I am grateful for the efforts of the State Fire Marshal and MBI for helping to bring this man to justice.”

The case was investigated by Kevin Butler of the State Fire Marshal’s Office and Jeffrey Willis of the Mississippi Bureau of Investigation. Investigator Ronnie Odom of the Attorney General’s Office assisted in the investigation.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Stan Alexander and Special Assistant Attorney General Kimberly T. Purdie.

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Jackson Woman Indicted for Second Time for Exploitation of Vulnerable Person

June 2, 2016
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Pebbles WrightJACKSON – A Jackson woman indicted last September for felony exploitation of a vulnerable person has been indicted again for exploitation in a separate case, Attorney General Jim Hood announced today.

Pebla Jones Wright, aka Pebbles Jones Wright, 49, was indicted by a Hinds County grand jury on one count of exploitation of a vulnerable person. The new indictment is in addition to one from 2015 charging Wright with exploitation and attempted exploitation.

Wright is the owner of a retirement and assisted living facility in Jackson. The indictment alleges that she took more than $250 from a vulnerable person in her care and used the funds for her personal benefit. In 2015, she was accused of taking more than $12,000 from another vulnerable person and attempting to take an additional $2,900.

She was arraigned on the new charge Tuesday during a hearing related to the 2015 indictment. Judge William Gowan set a hearing for June 10 on whether to revoke bond for Wright based on the new indictment.

If convicted of the additional charge, Wright faces up to 10 years in prison and a $10,000 fine.

As with all cases, 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.

The case is being investigated by Arthur Kendricks and Auditor Gilda Reyes and will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Sue Perry of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

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