A 24-year-old man will spend two years behind bars for abusing a patient while working as a clinical assistant in Hattiesburg, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.
James Haydel, 24, entered an open plea to one count of felony abuse of a vulnerable person on November 8. Forrest County Circuit Court Judge Bob Helfrich sentenced Haydel Monday to 12 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections with two years to serve and 10 years suspended. Haydel must also serve five years on probation. Additionally, Haydel was ordered to pay a $2,500 fine, $200 in restitution to the Mississippi Crime Victim Compensation Fund, $200 in restitution to the Forrest County Public Defender’s Fund, and all court costs.
Haydel was arrested on October 11, 2016, by the attorney general’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit for engaging in sexual penetration with a patient in a Hattiesburg healthcare facility where Haydel was employed as a clinical assistant.
“Good caregivers are a lifeline for our vulnerable population, whether elderly, adolescent, or disabled,” said General Hood. “This case should not deflect from the many caregivers across our state who are doing right by their patients. It should serve as a reminder that the calling is one with standards of decency and self-control. We are working hard every day to protect all our residents, especially our most vulnerable.”
This case was investigated by Trey Rogers and prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Tina Herron.
Attorney General Jim Hood announced today that a 25-year-old man from Jackson was convicted Thursday on three counts of murder.
Javondus Beasley was convicted by a Hinds County Jury after a three-day trial on one count of capital murder and two counts of second-degree murder.
Beasley was convicted of intentionally shooting 29-year-old Eldra Gibson, 25-year-old Sherrod Brown, and 22-year-old Ashley Taylor, during the late evening hours of October 30. Beasley entered the home on Moon Street in Jackson with the intention of robbing the owner of the house then killed the owner and the other two victims that were in the house at that time.
Judge Jeff Weill, Sr., scheduled a sentencing hearing for January 4 in Hinds County Circuit Court.
Beasley faces a potential sentence of life without parole for the capital murder conviction and up to 40 years in prison for each second-degree murder convictions.
“I appreciate Judge Weill and the Hinds County jury for bringing this murderer to justice,” General Hood said. “We hope this brings the victims’ families a bit of peace this Christmas.”
The case was investigated by the Jackson Police Department with assistance by Perry Tate of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division. The case was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorneys General Jim Giddy and Marvin Sanders following the recusal of the Hinds County District Attorney’s Office.
A Hattiesburg man who ran for an open state representative seat faces more than five years behind bars after being indicted on two counts of voter fraud, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.
Cory Ferraez, 28, turned himself in on a capias Monday following an August indictment by a Lowndes County grand jury. On count one, Ferraez was charged with swearing to a false application for an absentee ballot, and count two charged him with voting outside of his legal district. He faces up to five years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections and a $5,000 fine for count one and up to six months in jail and a fine of $200 on count two. 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.
Ferraez was booked into the Lowndes County jail. He pleaded not guilty to both charges, and his arraignment was waived. A trial date was set for February 26, 2018.
This case was investigated by Roger Wade with the attorney general’s Public Integrity Division and will be prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Stan Alexander.
The Mississippi Attorney General’s Office has received new reports from Mississippi taxpayers of being contacted by impersonators claiming to work for the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) or federal Treasury Department and told they owed money to the IRS. Attorney General Jim Hood is reminding Mississippians to remain cautious of these and other tax-related phone scams as we approach tax season.
The scammers call claiming to be an agent for the IRS or the federal Treasury and tell the victim something similar to, “This is your official final notice—the IRS is filing a lawsuit against you.” The caller claims the consumer owes money to the IRS and insists that it be paid promptly through a pre-loaded debit card or wire transfer. If the victim refuses to cooperate, the scammer threatens the victim by stating that he or she will be arrested or that a lawsuit will be filed against them.
Another version of the scam deceives consumers by telling them that they have a refund in an effort to trick them into sharing private information. If the phone isn’t answered, the scammers often leave an “urgent” callback request.
Scammers may also use fake names and bogus IRS identification badge numbers. They may even know a lot about their targets such as the last four digits of their Social Security number.
“These con artists are intimidating and sound convincing and can even alter the caller ID to make it look like the IRS is calling,” warned General Hood. “The number one thing to remember is that if the IRS needs to contact you, they’ll do it by postal mail first, and they will not threaten to arrest or sue you.”
General Hood’s Consumer Protection Division offers the following additional information and tips to avoid these types of scams:
THE IRS WILL NEVER:
o Call to demand immediate payment, nor will the agency call about taxes owed without first having mailed you a bill;
o Demand that you pay taxes without giving you the opportunity to question or appeal the amount they say you owe;
o Require you to use a specific payment method for your taxes, such as a pre-paid debit card, pre-loaded gift/credit card such as iTunes, or request that you wire a payment;
o Ask for credit or debit card numbers over the phone;
o Threaten to bring in local police or other law enforcement groups to have you arrested for not paying;
o Use email, text messages, or social media to discuss your personal tax issue involving bills or refunds.
TIPS TO PREVENT BECOMING A VICTIM OF THIS SCAM:
o If you know you owe taxes or think you might owe the IRS any amount, call the IRS at 1-800-829-1040. The IRS employees can help you with a payment issue.
o If you know you don’t owe taxes or have no reason to believe that you do, report the incident to the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration at 1-800-366-4484 or at www.tigta.gov.
o DO NOT answer the phone for a number you do not recognize or that shows up as your own.
o If you do answer, HANG UP the minute you realize it is a scam. Even answering simple questions in the affirmative or negative could be used to try to scam you.
o BE SUSPICIOUS of anyone who is vague in identifying themselves on the phone.
o NEVER wire or send money in any form to persons or organizations you do not know.
o ALWAYS protect your personally identifiable information. Giving out personal information could cause you to become a victim of identity theft.
For more educational information on this and other scams, visit the Consumer Protection Division section of the attorney general’s website at www.agjimhood.com.
Anyone who suspects their personal information has been compromised or thinks they have been a victim of fraud, identity theft, or any other scam should call the Consumer Protection Division of the Attorney General’s Office at 1-800-281-4418.
A 43-year-old man from Grenada was arrested Wednesday after being charged with one count of child exploitation, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.
Jeramy Mooney was arrested at the Grenada County Sheriff’s Office following an investigation of suspicious online activity. He was booked into the Grenada County Jail awaiting his initial appearance.
If convicted, Mooney faces up to 40 years in prison and $500,000 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 Jay Houston with the Mississippi Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force with assistance from the Grenada County Sheriff’s Office. It will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn
Attorney General Jim Hood announced today that the state of Mississippi has settled its claims with Sentinel Offender Services, L.L.C. for $1,300,000.00. Sentinel provides inmate electronic monitoring services.
“As a company that continues to contract with the state, Sentinel Offender Services agreed to cooperate and settle the case for $1.3 million on a $2 million contract,” said General Hood. “We successfully disgorged them of their ill-gotten profit and then some.”
To date, the Attorney General has recovered $5,800,000.00 on behalf of Mississippi taxpayers related to the MDOC prison bribery scandal.
This settlement ends the third of 11 civil actions the attorney general filed on February 8, 2017, accusing 10 individuals and 12 out-of-state corporations of using alleged “consultants” as conduits to pay bribes and kickbacks to then-Commissioner Epps for the awarding and retention of MDOC contracts—all while defrauding the state through a pattern of misrepresentation, fraud, concealment, money laundering, and other wrongful conduct arising from the Epps bribery scandal.
A Scott County man was arrested Wednesday for having sex with a man who was not able to consent due to his mental capacity, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.
Jason Amos, 18, of Forest, turned himself in to authorities last week after a Scott County grand jury indicted him this month on one count of sexual battery.
If convicted, Amos 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 Trey Rogers with the AG’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit, with assistance from the Scott County Sheriff’s Department. It will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Katie Moulds.
Nicholas Whittington was sentenced Monday to 10 years in prison following an August arrest for possession of child pornography, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.
Whittington, 24, of Hazlehurst, was sentenced by Copiah County Circuit Court Judge Lamar Pickard to 40 years in prison, with 10 years to serve and 30 years post-release supervision. He was arrested at his home in August after the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit received a tip regarding his online activity from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). Investigators found multiple videos in his possession of girls being forced to have sex, ranging in age from toddler to pre-teen.
Whittington must also pay a $1,000 fine to the Mississippi Crime Victim Compensation Fund and an additional $1,000 fine to the Children’s Trust Fund, and he must register as a sex offender upon his release.
“There is no safe space for people who think it’s okay to sexually harm our children,” said General Hood. “I’m glad Judge Pickard is sending this man to prison where he belongs.”
This case was investigated by the Mississippi Attorney General’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Brandon Ogburn.