Persons of interest have been identified in the Stewpot ministries identity theft case. The Jackson organization's mail was redirected to an abandoned house in south Jackson over the holiday season, sending more than $100,000 in donations there.
Stewpot Executive Director Frank Spencer says the names of the persons of interest in the case have not been released by postal inspectors.
Spencer said sometime between around Nov. 27 someone filled out a change of address form for Stewpot Community Services. The organization's mail went to the abandoned home in south Jackson until about Dec. 15.
The organization's funds were down to about $700 a couple of weeks ago. A fundraiser this week raised $12,000 for Stewpot. Spencer doesn't believe the organization will have to shut down any ministries in the near future.
Each day Stewpot helps at least 650 homeless and mentally challenged residents in Jackson.
Spencer says the missing money could pay the yearly salary of at least three case workers at Stewpot. Forty percent of stewpot's income is donated in the months of November and December. In fact, giving was up in 2012, compared to 2011 numbers, until this case of identity theft struck.
"That's almost the operating costs of one of the various ministries we have here. Our shelters take about $150,000 each and other ministries are about the same. So, it's very hurtful to Stewpot. It means less services we're able to provide," explained Spencer.
He encourages people who make donations to check their bank account to ensure their gift clears the bank.
The U.S. Postal Service Inspector's office says this type of identity theft is rare in Mississippi.
No arrest has been made in the investigation. The postal inspector's office is pursuing criminal charges in the case. Anyone with information is asked to contact the postal inspector's office at 601-351-7152.
Thursday, April 24 2014 2:34 PM EDT2014-04-24 18:34:03 GMT
On Thursday afternoon a one vehicle accident took the life of a Pickens man. Forty-three-year-old William Blackstock of Pickens, was killed in a car crash on Thursday at 3:14 pm on Highway 43 in MadisonMore >>
William Blackstock, 43, was killed in a car crash on Thursday at 3:14 pm on Highway 43, about 2 miles north of Highway 17, in Madison County.More >>
Thursday, April 24 2014 8:25 PM EDT2014-04-25 00:25:27 GMT
Rankin County Sheriff's office is investigating the death of a Hinds County Sheriff's Deputy along with his wife. Both were found deceased in their residence at 126 Caledonian Blvd. around 9 last night.More >>
A caller to 911 said the couple's two young children came to their house told them their dad may have shot their mother. More >>
Thursday, April 24 2014 1:59 PM EDT2014-04-24 17:59:33 GMT
Tony Gene Stewart, of Raymond, has been arrested, accused of sexual crimes against children. He is currently being held in the Calhoun County jail. He is facing 5 counts of sexual battery of a childMore >>
The sheriff says he is being held on $500,000 bond.More >>
Thursday, April 24 2014 5:05 PM EDT2014-04-24 21:05:22 GMT
According to WTVA, an Amber Alert has been issued for a missing Lowndes County toddler. Lowndes County Chief Deputy Marc Miley says they are searching for 2-year-old Malia Harris of Columbus. OfficialsMore >>
Georgia officials believe suspects in the Mississippi Amber Alert case may be in southwest Georgia. Cook County, GA investigators have been actively searching the Lenox area for the suspects. Officials confirmed a heavy presence of law enforcement in that area Wednesday night.More >>
Thursday, April 24 2014 1:55 PM EDT2014-04-24 17:55:20 GMT
Jackson Assistant Police Chief Lee Vance has confirmed there was a break in at the JPD evidence room. We don't have a lot information right now, but we are told that the break in happened either overnightMore >>
We don't have a lot information right now, but we are told that the break in happened either overnight Sunday or overnight Monday.More >>
WLBT 3 - Fox 40
715 South Jefferson Street
Jackson, Mississippi 39201