Two Georgia prison inmates – one a convicted murderer – have been charged in Alabama in connection with a multi-state jury duty scam.
The Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office Metro Area Crime Center launched an investigation after receiving several recent reports of a scam targeting citizens in Jefferson County. The MACC is made up of 15 law enforcement agencies. Investigators from the sheriff’s office, Hoover, Vestavia Hills and Trussville police, as well as U.S. Secret Service agents, worked on the jury duty scam case.
Chief Deputy Randy Christian said the scam works like this: the victim receives a phone call from a person who claims to be an investigator with the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office or another local law enforcement agency. They are told that they have failed to report to jury duty and a warrant has been issued for their arrest.
The suspect then tells the victim that the warrant can be cleared up and arrest avoided if they will send money to take care of it. Victims are instructed to purchase pre-loaded money cards and call back with the numbers. The amounts have ranged between $700 and $1,000.
Once they call in the numbers, they are instructed to go to the sheriff’s office and obtain a release form. One victim was given directions to the sheriff’s office that included turning on “Gotya” Street.
Just this morning, Hoover police issued a warning about the scam on their Facebook page.
Christian said investigators began obtaining information on the phone numbers used to call the victims. Through a series of search warrants, interviews, and other investigative techniques, they tracked the scammers to a Georgia prison. MACC and the Secret Service investigators went to Georgia and interviewed people believed to be involved in the scam.
Christian said two convicts were responsible for making many of the scam calls. They had family members outside of the prison collect the money and put it into their accounts.
Those inmates are 31-year-old Larry…