Meridian Registered Nurse Arrested for Medicaid Fraud Charges

August 19, 2016
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Attorney General Jim Hood announced today the arrest of a Meridian registered nurse who is accused of stealing prescription drugs intended for one of his patients.

Timothy Jones, 55, was arrested Thursday following an indictment by a Lauderdale County grand jury on one count of Medicaid Fraud and one count of acquiring or obtaining possession of a controlled substance by of fraud, misrepresentation or subterfuge.

At the time the crimes are alleged to have been committed, Jones worked as an RN at the East Mississippi State Hospital in Meridian. The indictment charges Jones with obtaining Norco containing Hydrocodone, a schedule two controlled substance, from a patient at the hospital, who at the time was receiving Medicaid benefits from the state.

Jones was booked into the Lauderdale County jail and is awaiting his bond to be set by the judge. If convicted of both counts, the defendant faces a maximum of 10 years in prison and $2,000 in fines. As with all cases, a charge is merely an accusation, and a defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The case is being investigated by Trey Rogers of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit with assistance from the Lauderdale County Sheriff’s Department.  Prosecution will be handled by Kathy Parker.

Tupelo Resident Assistant Sentenced for Possession of Controlled Substance

August 18, 2016
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Attorney General Jim Hood announced a Tupelo Resident Assistant has been sentenced for possession of a controlled substance.

Angela Sweat, 37, entered an open plea of guilty Monday for one count of acquiring or obtaining possession of a controlled substance or a legal drug by larceny, embezzlement, misrepresentation, fraud, forgery, deception or subterfuge. Lee County Circuit Court Judge Jim S. Pounds sentenced Sweat to serve five years in prison with five years suspended followed by five years of supervised probation. Sweat is required to be imprisoned in the Lee County Jail for nine days then must begin drug court. Additionally, she was ordered to pay $500 to the Office of the Attorney General for investigative fees, a $500 fine and court costs.

Sweat was arrested April 1 following an indictment for the crime which occurred last October. At the time of the crime, she was employed as a Resident Assistant by an assisted living facility in Tupelo. Sweat obtained Norco, a controlled substance, which was prescribed to and purchased for a patient of the facility, then converted the pills to her own use by consuming them. 

“We trust our health care providers to care for and assist those in need, not fraudulently take medications intended for their patients,” Attorney General Hood said.

This case was investigated by Joe Sanderson of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit with assistance by the Lee County Sheriff’s Department. Prosecution was handled by Special Assistant Mark McClinton.

Sandy Hook Man Arrested for Failure to Pay Child Support

August 16, 2016
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Attorney General Jim Hood announced a Sandy Hook man accused of failing to pay more than $340,000 in child support was arrested Monday.

Windell Kelly Conley, 43, was indicted by a Harrison County Grand Jury for one count of nonsupport of a child. He is alleged to owe more than $340,000 in back child support. Conley was booked into the Harrison County Adult Detention Center with a bond set at $2,500. His arraignment date is set for Sept. 6 before Harrison County Circuit Court Judge Christopher Schmidt.

If convicted of nonsupport of a child, Conley faces a maximum sentence of five years in prison and a $500 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.

Conley was arrested by deputies with the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office. This case was investigated by the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division/Child Desertion Unit and will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Kimberly T. Purdie.

Jackson Man Arraigned for Possessing a Cell Phone While Incarcerated

August 16, 2016
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Attorney General Jim Hood announced today that a Jackson man has been formally charged for possessing a cell phone while incarcerated at the Jackson Detention Center.

Christopher Butler, 39, was indicted Aug. 3 by a Hinds County grand jury on one count of possession of a cell phone within a correctional facility. He was arraigned today in Hinds County Circuit Court before Judge Jeff Weill, Sr.

The indictment alleges that Butler possessed a Tracfone while he was being held at the Jackson Detention Center.

Butler remains in custody. If convicted as a habitual offender, he faces the possible sentence of 15 years in prison and $25,000 in fines and must serve his sentence day-for-day without the possibility of parole.

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 the Hinds County Sheriff’s Office then referred to the Attorney General’s Office for prosecution. Ronnie Odom of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division assisted with the investigation and prosecution will be handled by Assistant Attorney General Stanley Alexander.

Former Hinds County Deputy Sheriff Facing Charges of Exploitation and Forgery

August 15, 2016
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A former Hinds County deputy sheriff is facing charges that she exploited a vulnerable person and committed forgery, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Alice Holly, 55, of Jackson, was indicted by a Hinds County Grand Jury for one count of exploitation of a vulnerable person and one count of forgery. She was booked into the Hinds County Jail and released on a $10,000 bond.

The indictment accuses Holly of closing the victim’s bank account and transferring more than $5,000 to her personal account. While the victim was in a behavioral center, Holly allegedly had the victim sign over power of attorney to her. Holly is accused of then using that power to execute a quit claim deed to transfer the victim’s property into her own name, and then selling it and keeping the proceeds for herself. In addition, Holly is accused of forging the signature of a second victim on a change-of-ownership form for a life insurance policy and making herself the beneficiary of the policy.

If convicted of exploitation, Holly faces up to 10 years in prison. She faces up to 15 years in prison for the forgery count. 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 Hinds County Sheriff’s Office assisted with this case, which is being investigated by Jamie Patrick and will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Marvin Sanders of the Attorney General’s Vulnerable Adult Unit.

Attorney General Jim Hood Calls for Collaborative Effort in Continuing to Improve State Mental Health Services

August 11, 2016
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A lawsuit filed today by the U.S. Department of Justice against the state of Mississippi provides the most meaningful opportunity yet for leaders to work together to continue to improve the state’s mental health system, Attorney General Jim Hood said today.

The federal government alleges that the state has violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by housing mentally ill individuals in institutions rather than community settings. The Department of Justice has filed similar lawsuits in about a dozen states alleging violations of the U.S. Supreme Court’s Olmstead decision.

“This lawsuit is a clarion call to all of us in state leadership to consider how we care for the least among us and how we can make it better,” Attorney General Hood said. “I see this litigation as a challenge to our Legislature to find the resources we need to continue to expand mental health services. This is a clear opportunity for our Legislature, mental health professionals, our faith-based community and all of us as Mississippians to come together to determine an effective way to address issues related to our mental health delivery system for years to come. It’s our obligation as Christians and people of faith to take care of those who are unable to take care of themselves.  It’s time for each of us to move forward to better fulfill that fundamental responsibility.

“The state has made great progress in expanding community mental health programs, and we will continue to push for expansion. We have come a long way, but further work remains to be done.”

Attorney General Hood said his office has been negotiating with DOJ for several years in an effort to avoid litigation, which is expected to be a considerable cost to the state at a time when tax cuts have caused significant budget problems. However, the Attorney General refused to accept the federal government’s demands for a court-ordered consent decree that would bind the state to perpetual federal oversight.

Attorney General Hood had also hoped that good-faith efforts to address the state’s mental health needs might allay the federal government’s concerns. Thus, the Attorney General has encouraged lawmakers for years to allocate additional resources to the Department of Mental Health. The Legislature did provide some extra funding in previous sessions, but this year actually cut the Department’s budget by $8.3 million. Since 2008, the Department has been forced to eliminate approximately 500 mental health beds, in addition to 34 beds in 2016 because of the Legislature’s budget cuts and its refusal to provide additional money for mental health programs.

“Not only did the Department of Mental Health take a substantial budget hit, the Legislature did not agree to a request for more than $12 million for community mental health programs,” Attorney General Hood said. “That would have helped us continue our expansion of community-based mental health services and kept us moving in the right direction, as we’ve consistently been doing already.”

The Attorney General noted that Georgia has been involved in similar litigation with DOJ since 2010 and has already spent more than $200 million.

“Until this year, we have been effective in preventing a lawsuit and saving the state millions of dollars in anticipated expenses and attorneys’ fees,” Attorney General Hood said. “Unfortunately, the Legislature this year chose to put money toward big corporate tax cuts rather than meet the needs of those among us who most need our assistance. We are now in the undesirable position of fighting a lawsuit that will cost us even more.  It’s time to act on behalf of our mentally ill residents and invest in the care they deserve.”

Special Assistant Attorney General Paula Broome Earns National Award for Work to Prevent Domestic Violence

August 11, 2016
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Special Assistant Attorney General Paula Broome is the 2016 recipient of the American Bar Association’s Corbitt Award for exceptional service to victims of domestic violence or sexual assault. She is pictured following the awards ceremony last week at the ABA’s annual meeting in San Francisco. Broome is pictured with Judge Jonathan Lippman, former chief judge of the state of New York, who was presented the Kaye award for judicial excellence.

The American Bar Association has named Special Assistant Attorney General Paula Henderson Broome as its 2016 recipient of  its national award given annually to an attorney who has provided exceptional service to victims of domestic violence, sexual violence or stalking.

Broome was presented the Sharon L. Corbitt Award during the association’s annual meeting in San Francisco last week.  The award named for an attorney who herself was a longtime victims advocate, the Corbitt Award recognizes attorneys who are champions for the rights of victims of domestic violence, sexual assault or stalking and who are committed to improving services and assistance to crime victims.

“An ABA award is the pinnacle of a lawyer’s career, and Paula deserves this high honor,” Attorney General Hood said. “She works day in and day out to make sure victims of domestic violence or sexual assault have the assistance and resources they need. Law enforcement agencies around the state have benefited from Paula’s expertise, and I am grateful to have such an exemplary attorney on my staff.”

Broome is the deputy director of the Attorney General’s Bureau of Victim Assistance. She is an expert on domestic violence issues and how they relate to law enforcement, and an in-demand speaker who has trained countless law enforcement officers in the state, as well as nationally and internationally.

Before coming to the Attorney General’s Office, she developed the Family Violence and Victim Services Program for the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians. That program received Harvard University’s “High Honor” award in 2003 for outstanding contributions in the governance of American Indian Nations.

“It is truly an honor to be recognized by the ABA and to have been nominated by my dear friend, the late Professor Jeffrey Jackson,” Broome said. “I am proud of the work we have done and the progress Mississippi has made over the years. I was blessed to have begun my work with domestic violence victims with the Mississippi Band of Choctaw Indians, who continue to work tirelessly to eliminate violence in the home. I am also fortunate to work for Attorney General Jim Hood, who has been a champion for crime victims and has always provided his staff with the latitude to address domestic violence issues.”

Broome is a graduate of Mississippi College School of Law. She has a bachelor’s degree from Millsaps College and a master’s degree from Northeastern University.


August 10, 2016
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Attorney General Jim Hood announced today that innocent victims of violent crime in Mississippi received more than $3.7 million in essential financial assistance in fiscal 2016 to help pay for medical treatment and other expenses.

The Crime Victim Compensation program, administered by the Attorney General’s Office, distributed $3,747,754.61 to 1,163 victims of crime in Mississippi who were in need of financial support due to injuries related to the criminal acts perpetrated against them.

“Mississippi residents who are victims of violent crime deserve the assurance that they can receive help to recover and move forward from often times tragic circumstances,” Attorney General Hood said. “The Victim Compensation program is funded in large part by convicted criminals whose heinous acts caused the injury and loss sustained by victims. My office is committed to ensuring that crime victims are not re-victimized because of the costs associated with violent crime.”

Attorney General Hood said he was concerned about the future budget needs of the program, since the Legislature this year directed that any assessments imposed by courts  be deposited into the state General Fund rather than the Crime Victim Compensation Fund. This could reduce the amount of money available in the future for innocent victims of crime.

“I have voiced my concern since early this year about the damaging impacts of the 2017 budget on our state’s most vulnerable citizens, as well as the law enforcement officers and first responders who protect us,” Attorney General Hood. “No eligible individual should be turned away because of lack of funding for this critical safety net for crime victims.”

The Crime Victim Compensation Program reimburses eligible crime victims or next-of-kin for expenses not covered by other sources, such as insurance. The program is funded from fees assessed to convicted criminals, court-ordered restitution and federal grants.

Eligible applicants may receive compensation for medical treatment, mental health services, funeral costs and several other types of expenses. The maximum amount distributed per individual is $20,000.

For more information about the Crime Victim Compensation Program, visit or call (800) 829-6766.

2016 Fiscal Year Payments by County
County Amount
ADAMS $22,160.41
ALCORN $24,587.80
AMITE $1,557.02
ATTALA $28,242.64
BENTON $7,014.88
BOLIVAR $58,410.53
CALHOUN $7,485.73
CHICKASAW $45,560.90
CHOCTAW $5,792.49
CLAIBORNE $52,019.44
CLAY $18,154.53
COAHOMA $128,385.79
COPIAH $28,838.83
DE SOTO $79,337.15
FORREST $93,181.46
GEORGE $29,643.28
GREENE $2,944.00
GRENADA $70,798.21
HANCOCK $39,718.07
HARRISON $236,594.65
HINDS $685,680.39
HOLMES $60,963.95
ITAWAMBA $23.345.00
JACKSON $232,820.47
JASPER $11,660.00
JEFFERSON $33,747.49
JONES $64,124.98
KEMPER $1,648.17
LAFAYETTE $64,350.80
LAMAR $13,087.52
LAUDERDALE $108,791.09
LAWRENCE $1,000.00
LEAKE $31,918.63
LEE $80,063.39
LEFLORE $81,236.23
LINCOLN $14,862.21
LOWNDES $57,221.36
MADISON $70,656.06
MARION $12,701.79
MARSHALL $62,039.07
MONROE $23,129.99
NESHOBA $16,265.14
NEWTON $7,303.40
NOXUBEE $3,780.00
OKTIBBEHA $10,000.00
PANOLA $76,687.62
PEARL RIVER $29,888.38
PERRY $6,500.00
PIKE $113,661.24
PONTOTOC $29,070.00
PRENTISS $3,903.84
QUITMAN $13,354.51
RANKIN $42,987.26
SCOTT $14,276.42
SHARKEY $5,293.16
SMITH $4,311.02
STONE $14,565.81
SUNFLOWER $44,321.25
TATE $60.00
TIPPAH $20,130.00
TUNICA $35,461.88
UNION $8,213.64
WALTHALL $1,540.25
WARREN $92,759.21
WASHINGTON $230,144.37
WAYNE $12,862.38
WEBSTER $8,628.15
WILKINSON $31,981.47
WINSTON $60,498.29
YALOBUSHA $23,956.80
YAZOO $42,475.92
TOTAL: $3,747,754.61