Tunica Man Going to Prison for False Pretense

May 19, 2016
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C. Island

Chester Island

Chester Island, 25, of Tunica, is going to prison for stealing more than $27,000 from his father’s retirement account, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

Island pleaded guilty to one count of false pretense today before Panola County Circuit Court Judge Smith Murphey.  Judge Murphey sentenced Island to serve 10 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections, with five years to serve and five years suspended.

An investigation by the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division uncovered that Island submitted false paperwork to the Public Employees’ Retirement System of Mississippi and stole more than $27,000 from his father’s retirement account.  Judge Murphey ordered Island to pay full restitution to his father while serving five years of post-release supervision following his time behind bars. Island was ordered to pay a $100 assessment to the Crime Victims Compensation Fund.

“This defendant scammed his own father for personal gain, which is not only reprehensible but will not be tolerated in our state,” said Attorney General Hood.  “We thank Judge Smith Murphey for his strong sentence and for ordering the defendant to pay back what he took from his father.”

The case was investigated by Perry Tate and prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Stan Alexander of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division.

 


Warren County Resident Convicted for Failing to Pay Child Support

May 19, 2016
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D. Andrews

Dean Walt Andrews

Dean Walt Andrews, Sr., 46, has been convicted by a Warren County jury for refusing to pay child support, announced Attorney General Jim Hood.

Andrews, a resident of Warren County, was found guilty of one count felony non-support of a child.

It was proven at trial the defendant willfully refused to pay child support in excess of $23,610, which he was ordered to pay to his minor son.

Warren County Circuit Court Judge M. James Chaney, Jr., has set the sentencing for June 3.  Andrews faces up to five years behind bars and a $500 fine.  He was immediately taken into custody.

This case was investigated by the Attorney General’s Child Desertion Unit and prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorneys General Patrick E. Beasley and Kimberly T. Purdie.


Undocumented Raymond Worker Convicted of Identity Fraud

May 12, 2016
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Irvin Mejia-Saavedra

Irvin Efrahin Mejia-Saavedra

Irvin Efrahin Mejia-Saavedra, 27, an undocumented worker and citizen of Honduras, has been convicted by a Hinds County jury for fraudulent use of identity, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Mejia-Saavedra, who resided in Raymond at the time of his arrest, was found guilty of fraudulent use of identity.

A joint investigation by the Attorney General’s Consumer Protection Division and Homeland Security Investigations showed that the defendant purchased a fraudulent Social Security card and Tennessee identification card in order to obtain a job at the American Dairyco plant located in Edwards. Mejia-Saavedra was arrested May 28, 2015, while working at the American Dairyco plant, along with eight additional undocumented dairy workers, who were also charged with fraudulent use of identity.

“Crooks who try to con their way into the workforce by stealing the identities and tax dollars of hardworking citizens threatens our nation’s security and we will not tolerate these criminal acts in Mississippi,” said Attorney General Jim Hood. “This case demonstrates the benefit of our great working relationship with Homeland Security Investigations and we appreciate their hard work.”

Hinds County Circuit Court Judge William Gowan has set the sentencing for May 23.

“Fraudulent identity documents pose a grave threat to national security by helping criminals hide in plain sight,” said Raymond R. Parmer Jr., Special Agent in Charge of HSI New Orleans. “Stolen identity documents also threaten law-abiding citizens who risk being held responsible for criminal acts committed by aliens possessing stolen documents in their names. This investigation shows ICE Homeland Security Investigations and the Mississippi Attorney General will continue to investigate and seek prosecution of these cases to protect the public.”

The case was investigated by Bo Luckey with the Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division, assigned to the HSI Task Force and Special Agent John Rackley of Homeland Security Investigations.  Prosecution of the case was handled by Special Assistant Attorneys General Patrick Beasley and Alison O’Neal McMinn.

 


Booneville Resident Going to Prison for Con Game Against Elderly Victim

May 11, 2016
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SALLIE

Sharon Sallie

Sharon Sallie, 48, Booneville, is going to prison for a con game she perpetrated upon an elderly victim, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Sallie was found guilty today by a Tippah County jury of one count of false pretense and one count of conspiracy.  Circuit Court Judge Andrew K. Howorth sentenced Sallie to serve 10 years for false pretense to run concurrently to five years for conspiracy in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections. Sallie must serve the sentence day-for-day as a habitual offender.  Sallie was additionally ordered to pay $15,518.25 in restitution to the victim and court costs.

The investigation uncovered that Sallie and two codefendants took more than $15,000 in the scheme. The victim believed she was helping Sallie and two other codefendants after Sallie contacted the victim to ask for a loan that Sallie promised to repay following the settlement of a medical lawsuit. However, there was no such lawsuit or settlement.  Ahmad Fryar, of Ripley, and Jessica Plaxico, of Booneville, were recently sentenced for false pretense and conspiracy charges associated with this case.

“We thank Judge Howorth for the substantial sentence and ordering the defendant to pay back what she took from the victim,” said Attorney General Hood. “We also thank and appreciate Tippah County Sheriff Karl Gaillard and his deputies for their assistance with this case. This should be a warning to any type of con-artist that we will not tolerate this type of criminal activity in our state and you will get caught and serve time.”

The case was investigated by Jamie Thompson and prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Stan Alexander of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division.

 


Attorney General Jim Hood and Police Chiefs Host Sixth Annual Candlelight Vigil for Mississippi’s Fallen Law Enforcement Officers

May 11, 2016
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The sixth annual Mississippi Fallen Law Enforcement Officers Candlelight Vigil will be held on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. at the Statewide Fallen Officers Memorial off High Street across from the Capitol in downtown Jackson. Attorney General Jim Hood will join the Mississippi Chiefs of Police in hosting the ceremony.

“Sadly etched on the granite walls of the memorial are the names of 235 Mississippi officers who paid with their lives trying to make our communities safer,” Attorney General Hood said.  “We must do our part in honoring their memories and pay respect to the service of these heroic officers who were killed in the line of duty last year. This ceremony is one small way we pay tribute to these fallen heroes.  They gave us more than we can ever give back, and we will continue to remember them for doing so.”

The candlelight vigil coincides with National Police Week.  The names of six Mississippi fallen law enforcement officers who died in the line of duty in 2015 have been added to the wall this year. They are:

John B. Gorman     1/21/2015    Director of Investigations     Mississippi Gaming
Commission

Johnny E. Gatson   3/10/2015    Deputy Sheriff     Warren County Sheriff’s Office

Josie Wells             3/10/2015    Deputy U.S. Marshal     U.S. Department of Justice
U.S. Marshals Service

Benjamin J. Deen   5/9/2015      Patrolman     Hattiesburg Police Department

Liquori T. Tate        5/9/2015      Patrolman     Hattiesburg Police Department

Iris J. Smith            5/25/2015    Sergeant     Mississippi Department of Corrections

“The names listed on this wall represent brave men and women who made the ultimate sacrifice as part of the ‘thin blue line’ which stands strong  between order and chaos in our society,” said Ken Winter, Executive Director of the Mississippi Association of Chiefs of Police.  “We come to honor them for that sacrifice and to stand beside their loved ones in remembrance.”

The keynote speakers for the event are Attorney General Jim Hood and Gov. Phil Bryant.

Law enforcement agencies statewide and members of the public, along with family and friends of any Mississippi law enforcement officer killed in the line of duty, are invited to join officers from the Mississippi Chiefs of Police Association, the Mississippi Sheriffs Association, the Mississippi Highway Patrol, the Mississippi Wildlife and Fisheries Department, the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, and the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office at the event.

The Mississippi Statewide Fallen Officers Memorial is located between the Sillers and Gartin Justice Buildings in downtown Jackson.  In the event of inclement weather, we will move the location of the event to the Trade Mart building located at 1200 Mississippi Street in Jackson.


Jackson Contractor is Going to Prison for Embezzlement by Contract

May 3, 2016
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Attorney General Jim Hood announced today that a Jackson contractor has been sentenced to prison for taking a consumer’s money and failing to complete repairs on a home in Jackson.

Larry Samuels, 59, pleaded guilty Monday in Hinds County Circuit Court to embezzlement under contract. Judge William A. Gowan sentenced Samuels to 10 years in prison, with seven of those years suspended followed by three years post-release supervision. He is also required to pay $2,300 in restitution.

Samuels contracted with a Jackson resident to complete repairs to a home on Wood Glen Drive following a hail storm in March 2013. After he received payment, he never returned to work on the home.

“This unscrupulous contractor made a bad situation much worse for a consumer who simply wanted her home repaired after a severe storm,” Attorney General Hood said. “We have no tolerance for those who would take advantage of consumers in a situation like this, and I appreciate the sentence handed down by Judge Gowan.”

This case was investigated by Investigator Miller Faulk and prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Shaun Yurtkuran of the Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division. 

 


Hattiesburg Bail Bond Agent Faces Felony Embezzlement Charges

April 22, 2016
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Allen Humphrey, 56, of Hattiesburg, has been arrested for writing $875,000 in fraudulent bonds while employed as a bail bond agent for Mississippi Bonding Company, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Humphrey turned himself in to authorities Thursday following the indictment by a Lamar County Grand Jury on two counts of felony embezzlement. An investigation by the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division uncovered that Humphrey was allegedly embezzling funds while issuing bonds for Mississippi Bonding Company. Humphrey is accused of writing $875,000 in fraudulent bonds, embezzling the company’s proceeds from these bonds and converting the money to his own use.

Humphrey was booked into the Lamar County Jail with a bond set at $45,000. If convicted of both counts, the defendant faces a total of 30 years in custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections and a $50,000 fine. 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 was investigated by Ronnie Odom with the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division and will be prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Larry Baker.


Jackson Man Going to Prison for Auto Theft

April 22, 2016
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Derrick Thomas, 22, of Jackson, has been sentenced for auto theft, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Thomas appeared Thursday before Hinds County Circuit Court Judge Jeff Weill, Sr., and pleaded guilty to one count of auto theft.  Judge Weill sentenced Thomas to seven years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections with two years suspended and five years to serve followed by two years of post-release supervision. Additionally, Thomas was ordered to pay a $500 assessment to the Crime Victims Compensation Fund.

At the time of the May, 2013 crime, Thomas was at the scene of an altercation which resulted in the death of R.B. Ervin, 66, of Jackson.  Thomas pleaded guilty to participating in stealing the victim’s vehicle.

The case was a joint investigation by Investigator Perry Tate of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division and the Jackson Police Department.  Prosecution of the case was handled by Assistant Attorney General Stanley Alexander.