Picayune Resident Going to Prison for Child Exploitation

August 21, 2014
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A Picayune man is going to prison for child exploitation, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Edwin Dean Pauly, 59, of Picayune, appeared before Pearl River County Circuit Court Judge Prentiss G. Harrell Tuesday for sentencing after pleading guilty in an open plea (meaning the defendant throws himself at the mercy of the court) to two counts of child exploitation August 12.  Judge Harrell sentenced Pauly to ten years, with five suspended, five to serve.  He must also register as a sex offender upon release.

The Attorney General’s investigation found Pauly in possession of multiple images of child porn.

The case was investigated by the Attorney General’s Cyber Crime Unit and was prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorneys General Linda Davis and Brandon Ogburn.

Hinds County Resident Going to Prison for Exploitation of Vulnerable Person

August 20, 2014
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A Hinds County man is going to prison for 20 years for exploitation of a vulnerable person, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Gregory Wayne Colburn, 52, of Jackson, was sentenced Tuesday by Rankin County Circuit Court Judge William Chapman on two counts of exploitation of a vulnerable person. Colburn was convicted by a Rankin County Trial Jury on July 23, 2014. Sentencing was delayed until Tuesday. 

Colburn was sentenced to 10 years in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections on each count with count two to run consecutive to count one, for a total of 20 years behind bars. He was ordered to pay $157,581.21 in restitution and $1,031.57 in court costs.

After Colburn was named Power of Attorney over the affairs of an elderly woman, the Attorney General’s investigation showed that Colburn enticed the victim to transfer large sums of money from her bank account to a joint bank account owned by both parties. Using the money from the joint account, Colburn purchased a $75,000 Certificate of Deposit then used the CD as collateral to purchase a tour bus for the Men of Music, a traveling religious singing group with which he was associated.  Colburn then transferred additional money from the joint bank account to an account owned solely by himself.

“We appreciate Judge Chapman for sentencing this defendant to the maximum time to serve for this crime,” said Attorney General Hood.

The case was investigated by Russell Frasier of the Attorney General’s Vulnerable Adults Unit and prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorneys General Larry Baker and Jim Giddy.

AG Reminds Mississippians Free Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Consortium in Final Year of Service

August 19, 2014
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Attorney General Jim Hood is encouraging Mississippians facing foreclosure or in need of financial counseling to take advantage of the free services being offered by The Mississippi Mortgage Foreclosure Prevention Consortium before time runs out. 

The program has been in place for two years and is currently in its last year of operation and will cease to exist June 30, 2015. 

“I created this program with the hopes of helping all Mississippians facing foreclosure, not just those directly linked to the national settlement,” said Attorney General Hood. “Now is the time for anyone needing help  to contact our program partners and explore whatever options may exist. ”

Mississippi Home Corp., a consortium partner, is planning a Housing Resource Fair on Tuesday, August 26 in Jackson at the Mississippi Agriculture & Forestry Museum on Lakeland Drive, Sparkman Auditorium,  from 2-7pm.  The event will provide free legal services, overall housing counseling, pre-purchase and foreclosure prevention information from a variety of vendors.  Walk-ins are welcome but appointments are strongly encouraged.  Appointments can be made by calling the consortium hotline at 1-866-530-9572.

Anyone unable to attend the event can still call the hotline and talk with consortium partners.

Attorney General Jim Hood and 41 Other State Attorneys General Reach a $35 Million Consumer Settlement with Pfizer Concerning Rapamune®

August 8, 2014
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Attorney General Jim Hood joins 41 other Attorneys General in announcing a $35 million settlement with Pfizer Inc. over alleged consumer protection violations concerning the immunosuppressive drug Rapamune.

Mississippi’s portion of the settlement is $532,675.94.  Pfizer Inc., as parent of Wyeth Pharmaceuticals Inc., agrees to be bound by the judgment, to resolve allegations that Wyeth unlawfully promoted Rapamune, currently approved by the FDA as prophylactic for organ rejection after kidney transplant surgery.

“The Complaint and Consent Judgment we filed allege that our state consumer protection laws were violated by misrepresentation of the uses and benefits of Rapamune,” said Attorney General Hood.

Included in the allegations are misrepresentations related to: (1) the unapproved use of Rapamune following an organ transplant other than a kidney transplant; (2) the unapproved protocol of converting patients to Rapamune after initially receiving a different immunosuppressive drug; and (3) using Rapamune in unapproved drug combinations.

The Consent Judgment requires Pfizer to ensure that its marketing and promotional practices do not unlawfully promote Rapamune or any Pfizer product.  Specifically, Pfizer shall not:

Make, or cause to be made, any written or oral claim that is false, misleading, or deceptive regarding any Pfizer Product;

Make any claim comparing the safety or efficacy of a Pfizer Product to another product when that claim is not supported by substantial evidence as defined by Federal law and regulations;

  • Promote any Pfizer Product for Off-Label uses;
  • Include mechanisms in its financial incentives to provide incentive compensation for sales that may be attributable to the Off-Label uses of any Pfizer Product;
  • Affirmatively seek the inclusion of Rapamune in hospital protocols or standing orders unless Rapamune has been approved by the FDA for the indication for which it is to be included in the protocol or standing order;
  • Disseminate information describing any Off-Label or unapproved use of Rapamune unless such information and materials comply with applicable FDA regulations and the recommended actions in FDA Guidances for Industry; or
  • Seek to influence the prescribing of Rapamune in hospitals or transplant centers in any manner (including through funding clinical trials) that does not comply with the Federal anti-kickback statute.

Oregon and Texas led the Executive Committee, which also includes Attorneys General from California, Florida, Illinois, Maryland, New York, North Carolina, and Pennsylvania.

Also participating in the settlement are Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Colorado, Delaware, District of Columbia, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Massachusetts, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, Nebraska, Nevada, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Dakota, Tennessee, Utah, Virginia, Washington.

Two Jackson Residents Facing Allegations of Conspiracy and Burglary

July 31, 2014
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Two Jackson Residents Facing Allegations of business burglary burglary and conspiracy to possess and distribute controlled substances, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Marcus Taylor, 32, and LeCarlo Clincy, 36, both of Jackson, were arraigned Tuesday on three separate counts by Choctaw County Circuit Court Judge Joseph H. Loper, Jr. in Ackerman. Taylor and Clincy are charged with one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a schedule III controlled substance, one count of conspiracy to possess with intent to distribute a schedule V controlled substance and one count of business burglary for the burglary of Ackerman Discount Drugs.

The maximum sentence for count one is 20 years, count two is ten years and count three is seven years. Judge Loper set a bond of $100,000 for Taylor, who is a habitual offender and $50,000 for Clincy.

If convicted, Taylor and Clincy face up to 37 years behind bars for all three counts. As with all cases, the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case was investigated by the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics and will be prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Stanley Alexander and Special Assistant Attorney General Marvin Sanders of the Public Integrity Division of the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office.

Hinds County Resident Going to Prison for Manslaughter and Aggravated Assault

July 31, 2014
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A Hinds County man has been sentenced to 30 years in prison for manslaughter and aggravated assault involving two separate but related cases, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Henry Roundtree, 25, of Jackson, appeared before Judge William Gowan in Hinds County Circuit Court Tuesday and entered his guilty plea to manslaughter and aggravated assault involving the death of another Jackson resident. On the manslaughter charge, he was sentenced to 20 years to serve as a habitual offender (meaning he will serve his sentence day for day) in the custody of the Mississippi Department of Corrections.  On the aggravated assault charge, Judge Gowan sentenced him to 20 years. The two sentences are to run concurrent.

The defendant and his co-defendant entered the home of a Jackson resident and during the attempted robbery, a struggle ensued. During the struggle, the homeowner was shot in the hip. A friend of the homeowner, who was present at the time of the robbery, was shot and later died as a result of his injuries.

While Roundtree was incarcerated on the first offense at the Raymond County Detention Center, he and four other detainees participated in the stabbing of another inmate with shanks. The victim was stabbed several times in the back, hand and head. In that case, Roundtree entered a guilty plea to aggravated assault. Judge Gowan sentenced Roundtree to 20 years, ten years suspended with five years to serve post-release supervision.

These sentences in both cases will run consecutive to one another, meaning the defendant was sentenced to a total of 30 years, with ten years suspended and five years post-release supervision.

These cases were investigated by Larry Ware and Perry Tate and prosecuted by Special Assistant Attorney General Marvin Sanders of the Attorney General’s Public Integrity Division.

Former State Employee Going to Prison for Embezzlement and Forgery

July 29, 2014
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A former state employee is going to prison for embezzlement and forgery, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today. 

Rhonda Gleason, 49, of Richton, was sentenced today by Judge Billy Joe Landrum in the First Judicial District of Jones County after pleading guilty to two counts of embezzlement and one count of forgery.  The crimes occurred while Gleason was employed as a program director at Ellisville State School.  Officials at Ellisville reported the issue to the Attorney General’s Office.

Gleason was sentenced to five years on each count, to run concurrent, with four years suspended and one to serve.  She also received two years of post-release supervision during which time she must complete 624 hours of community service.  Gleason was also ordered to pay full restitution to Ellisville, which initially reimbursed the victims.  She must also pay all court costs plus a $1,000 fine to cover investigative costs and $1,000 to the public defender’s fund.

The attorney general’s investigation showed that Gleason took small increments of money totaling over $5,500 from over 22 residents during a two year period. Gleason also forged the names of other employees claiming they had witnessed monetary transactions when in fact they had not.

The case was investigated and prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.

Horn Lake Nurse Arrested for Possession of Controlled Substance

July 25, 2014
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A Horn Lake nurse has been arrested for alleged possession of a controlled substance, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.

Justin McElroy, 31, of Horn Lake, turned himself in to authorities Thursday, July 24, after being indicted by a Desoto County Grand Jury. At the time the crimes are alleged to have been committed, McElroy was working as an RN at a nursing home  in Southaven. He is alleged to have acquired over 20 Oxycodone pills which had been  prescribed to and purchased for a patient, and converted them to his own use.

McElroy was booked into the Desoto County jail with a bond set at $10,000. If convicted of the charges, McElroy faces a maximum of five years in prison and $1,000 in fines.  As with all cases, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

This case was investigated and will be prosecuted by the Attorney General’s Medicaid Fraud Control Unit.