Laurel Resident Arrested for Insurance Fraud

March 11, 2016
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Arnisha T. Dean, 34, of Laurel, has been arrested for insurance fraud, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Dean was recently arrested by the Jones County Sheriff’s Office following her indictment by a Jones County Grand Jury for one count of insurance fraud. 

DEANAs a result of an investigation conducted by the Mississippi Attorney General’s Insurance Integrity Unit, Dean is accused of making a false and fraudulent statement to her insurance company, United Automobile Insurance Company (UAIC), by buying insurance online on a vehicle and minutes later filing a claim for damage to a vehicle that had been wrecked a few hours earlier that same day. 

Dean was booked into the Jones County Jail with her arraignment date set for March 15. If convicted, she faces up to three years behind bars and a maximum of $5,000 in fines. As with all cases, a charge is merely an accusation, and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case is being investigated by Michael Stevens and will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Bob Anderson of the Attorney General’s Insurance Fraud Unit.

 

 

 


Lumberton Resident Arrested for Child Exploitation

March 10, 2016
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donovanRonald Donovan, 54, of Lumberton, has been arrested and charged with one count of exploitation of a child, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Donovan was arrested today by investigators of the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit/Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force with assistance from the Picayune Police Department and Pearl River Sheriff’s Office.

The joint investigation uncovered Donovan was illegally trafficking child sexual abuse images.

Donovan was booked into the Pearl River County Jail with a bond set at $40,000. If convicted, he faces up to 40 years behind bars. As with all cases, a charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless 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.

 


Direct Care Worker Arrested for Gratification of Lust

March 9, 2016
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Daniel P. Smith, 21, of Magee, has been arrested and charged for gratification of lust while employed as a direct care worker, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Smith was arrested Monday by investigators with the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. The charge alleges Smith touched a 24-year-old male patient inappropriately while employed as a direct care worker at a mental health facility. 

Smith was booked in to the Simpson County Jail and released on a $5,000 bond. If convicted of the charge against him, Smith faces up to 15 years behind bars. As with all cases, the charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. 

This case was investigated by Jeff Stewart, Barrick Fortune and John David Flowers and will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Sue Perry of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit. 

 


Former Director of Nursing of Adams County Nursing Center Arrested for Embezzlement of Controlled Substance

March 2, 2016
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Kimberly Lindsey, 41, of Natchez, has been arrested for alleged embezzlement of a controlled substance, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Lindsey recently turned herself in to the Adams County Sheriff’s Office following an indictment by the Adams County Grand Jury for one count of Embezzlement of a Controlled Substance.

An investigation by the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division uncovered that Lindsey is alleged to have embezzled Hydrocodone,  a schedule two controlled substance, through her former employment as the Director of Nursing at the Adams County Nursing Center.

Following her arrest, Lindsey’s bond was set at $10,000. Her arraignment is scheduled for Thursday. If convicted of the charges against her, Lindsey faces up to five years behind bars and a $1,000 fine. As with all cases, the charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. 

This case was investigated by Michael Stevens of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division with assistance from the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and Adams County Sheriff’s Office. The case will be prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Stanley Alexander at the request of the Adams County District Attorney’s Office.

 

 


Attorney General Jim Hood Applauds Senate Passage of Senate Bill 2237

March 1, 2016
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Attorney General Jim Hood applauded the Mississippi Senate today for approving a measure intended to protect the safety of the individuals responsible for carrying out executions.

Senate Bill 2237 would protect the identities of the state executioner and members of the execution team, and would also keep confidential the names of the local supplier or suppliers of lethal injection drugs located in the State of Mississippi. The bill was drafted by the Attorney General’s Office, and it is part of the Attorney General’s legislative agenda.

Attorney General Hood praised the leadership of Sen. Sean Tindell, who guided the bill through committee and handled the bill on the Senate floor today. Tindell, of Gulfport, is chairman of the Senate Judiciary-A Committee. The Attorney General also thanked Sen. Joey Fillingane of Sumrall, who sponsored the bill.

“We’ve had honest, hard-working Mississippi residents who have refused to work on the execution team because of fear for the safety of their families and concerns about retaliation inside and outside the prison,” Attorney General Hood said. “As long as we have the death penalty in Mississippi, we have a responsibility to protect the state employees who assist in carrying out executions. The businesses that agree to supply lethal injection drugs must also be free from the intimidation and strong-arm tactics of some anti-death penalty activists.”

Attorney General Hood said U.S. District Judge W. Allen Pepper Jr. recognized the importance of confidentiality in 2011, when he issued a protective order shielding names of the execution team from litigants in a lawsuit. The judge at the time said the team faced the possibility of harassment and retaliation.

“In instances like this, it’s important to weigh the public’s right to know versus the potential risk of harm to those who are merely doing their jobs and following state law,” Attorney General Hood said. “This is one of those very rare cases where there is a greater benefit to keeping some information confidential.”

Out of an abundance of respect for the families of murder victims, the bill also protects the identities of witnesses of the victim’s or the inmate’s family if they wish to remain confidential.

The bill passed 32-18. It is currently being held in the Senate on a motion to reconsider.

 


Attorney General Jim Hood Reminds Mississippians to be Aware of Scams as Spring Storm Season Approaches

February 29, 2016
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With spring storm season just around the corner, Attorney General Jim Hood wants to remind Mississippians who suffer property damage as a result of severe storms or flooding to be on alert for scam artists. Additionally, the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office is sending a message to crooked contractors and other scam artists that disaster-related fraud won’t be tolerated.

According to MEMA, the greatest threat for severe storms in Mississippi is in March, April and May. Gov. Phil Bryant has proclaimed this week as Spring Severe Weather Preparedness Week to bring attention to the potential for severe weather events and to encourage people and communities to know their risks and take action.

“Mississippi has recently been hit hard by storms, everything from tornadoes to hail storms and flash flooding.  We know that spring often brings additional storms.  In these situations, Mississippians are vulnerable to fraud,” said Attorney General Jim Hood. “I want to ensure that Mississippi storm victims are not victimized by unscrupulous contractors or other scam artists who prey on misfortune.”

In order to avoid falling victim to scams or unscrupulous contractors in the aftermath of severe storms or flooding, Attorney General Hood offers these tips to protect you and your loved ones against home repair fraud:

  • Always get more than one estimate.  Ensure that all quotes are in writing for the full scope of the work.
  • Have a written home repair contract in place before allowing work to begin.  A contractor who won’t put pricing or warranty information in writing may be planning to defraud you.
  • Request references and follow up with these references.  Don’t assume that just because a reference is provided that it is a positive one.
  • Use Mississippi contractors if you can.  Verify that the contractor is licensed and insured.
  • Be wary of supposed contractors who come to your home soliciting business. Most reputable contractors will be busy and won’t need to solicit business.

Attorney General Hood recommends that you take time in advance of a storm to download a copy of the “model contract,” which will help you avoid becoming a victim of home repair fraud. More information can be found in “Consumer Tips for Storm Victims.” Both of these resources can be found at www.agjimhood.com.

Attorney General Hood also encourages Mississippians to develop and practice their own emergency plans. Having necessary supplies on hand, a communications plan with your loved ones in place, and insurance and financial account information ready will assist consumers during and after a storm.

In the aftermath of any storm or any other time, if you suspect home repair fraud or think you may have been conned by a scam artist, please contact the Office of the Attorney General, Consumer Protection Division at (601) 359-4230 or (800) 281-4418.


AG Announces Upcoming 10th Annual Community Shred Days

February 26, 2016
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204Attorney General Jim Hood is pleased to announce Mississippi consumers will get a chance to protect themselves from becoming victims of identity theft at the upcoming 10th annual statewide Community Shred Days on March 11-12. For the 10th year in a row, this event is held at locations throughout the state, and it coincides with National Consumer Protection Week.

“Shred days are intended to raise community awareness to the risks of identity theft and to provide Mississippi citizens free access to document shredding,” said Attorney General Hood. “We encourage Mississippians to join us in taking an important step to protect their personal information used by identity thieves.”

The event provides the opportunity for consumers to shred their personal documents at no charge, a service provided courtesy of the Iron Mountain, Premiere Shredding and Shred-It companies. Shredding services will be available at six locations statewide starting at 7:30 a.m. on Friday, March 11 in Jackson and Tupelo and on Saturday, March 12 in D’Iberville, Hattiesburg, Meridian and Vicksburg. Consumers may bring up to three bags or boxes of sensitive documents to be shredded. This event is a first-come, first-served service and will not accept any businesses.IMG_0004

In addition to shredding documents, Magnolia Data Solutions will be at the Jackson location on Friday, March 11. Consumers are encouraged to bring their electronic items that contain sensitive data to be destroyed for no cost. There is no limit on the amount of equipment. Monitors, televisions or anything with glass will not be accepted. Magnolia Data Solutions will be working alongside Premier Shredding until the truck has reached capacity.

Specific statewide locations are:

Friday, March 11, 2016
Starting at 7:30 a.m.

Jackson – The Home Depot, I-55 North
Tupelo – Walmart, 3929 N. Gloster St.

Saturday, March 12, 2016
Starting at 7:30 a.m.

D’Iberville – Walmart, 3615 Sangani Blvd.
Hattiesburg – Walmart, 6072 US Hwy 98
Meridian – Walmart, 2400 Hwy 19 North
Vicksburg – The Home Depot, 50 Halls Ferry Park Road

Attorney General Hood reminds consumers that simple things, such as taking out the garbage, can expose them to identity theft. Consumers should shred receipts, pre-approved credit offers or convenience checks that haven’t been used. Identity thieves won’t hesitate for a second to rummage through the trash.

“Since we began this partnership, we have helped Mississippi consumers shred over 459,000 pounds of paper containing personal information,” said Attorney General Hood. “We have no doubt this partnership and the hard work of our volunteers has saved many Mississippians from becoming victims of identity theft.”

Additional partners include:  AARP, BancorpSouth, Better Business Bureau, Brightview Federal Credit Union, Center for Justice, Central Mississippi Planning and Development District, The Home Depot, Iron Mountain, The Leadership Council on Aging, Magnolia Data Solutions, Members Exchange Credit Union, Mississippi Credit Union Association, Mississippi Department of Human Services Division of Aging and Adult Services, Mississippi State University Extension Service, Money Management International, Premier Shredding, Inc., Shred-It, Secretary of State’s Office, Sunbelt Federal Credit Union, TAGMA, Trustmark Bank, Wal-Mart, and other Mississippi Consumer Partnership members.

For more information about the event or about protecting your identity, visit www.agjimhood.com.  Any questions or concerns can be addressed by the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division at 601-359-4230 or toll free at 1-800-281-4418.


Lawrence County Resident Arrested for Felony Exploitation of a Vulnerable Person

February 25, 2016
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Charise Bridges, 45, of Monticello, has been arrested following an indictment for felony exploitation of a vulnerable person, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Bridges was arrested today by the Lawrence County Sheriff’s Department after being on the run for more than a year. The arrest followed an indictment by the Covington County Grand Jury for one count of Felonious Exploitation of a Vulnerable Person.

The indictment alleges that Bridges took a check from the victim, who at the time was a resident of the Mississippi Veteran’s Home. She allegedly withdrew $700 from the victim’s bank account without authorization.

The defendant was booked into the Covington County Jail and is awaiting bond. If convicted, Bridges faces up to 10 years behind bars and a $10,000 fine.

As with all cases, the fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime, unless there is included therein a statement explaining that, the charge is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless 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 Attorney General Katie Moulds of the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.