Inmate uses smuggled cell phone to scam prisoner families - - Jackson, MS

Inmate uses smuggled cell phone to scam prisoner families

Source: AG's office Source: AG's office
JEFFERSON COUNTY, MS (Mississippi News Now) -

A Jefferson County inmate has been arrested for a fraudulent prison scam after a 6 month long investigation.

An Attorney General’s Office investigation revealed that 24-year-old Jerbarius Neal of Hazlehurst was the mastermind behind a jailhouse scam which preyed upon families of incarcerated people. He is charged with offering inmates’ families a chance to secure early release for their loved ones by paying money into a fraudulent State of Mississippi program.  

Neal allegedly contacted inmates’ families by using a smuggled cell phone. 

The AG's office says he claimed to be one of several public officials, including a statewide elected official, State Representative Gregg Holloway and a federal judge.  While posing as a public official, Neal is accused of offering to provide early release, or a way to avoid prison time, in exchange for payment. 

He allegedly arranged to have individuals meet the victim to pick up the cash or money orders. 

During one of these meetings, a victim, who paid money to have his father entered into the fraudulent program, videoed Neal’s co-conspirator picking up the money. 

37-year-old Tiffany McVane of Hazlehurst, was arrested as a co-conspirator in the case. She is accused of picking up $5,000 cash from a victim. 

If convicted, Neal and McVane face up to five years in prison on each count and up to a $10,000 fine per count.

Law Enforcement agents from the Attorney General’s Office Consumer Protection Division, the Mississippi Department of Corrections, the Hazlehurst Police Department, the Copiah County Sherriff’s Department and the Jefferson County Sheriff's Office worked on the investigation that lead to the arrest of Neal and McVane.

Additional arrests are expected as the investigation continues in this case.  

If anyone has been a victim of this type of scam or has information about the scam, please call the Attorney General's Office at 1 (800) 281-4418.

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