Ex-Inmate pleads guilty in prison telephone scam
SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — A Georgia man has pleaded guilty to scamming people in Louisiana while he was held in a Georgia prison.
Andre Deaveon Reese, 32, of Atlanta, entered the plea in federal court in Shreveport to one count of wire fraud conspiracy, U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown said in a news release Thursday.
Two Louisiana residents, aged 75 and 78, paid a total of $9,797 to Reese and other conspirators starting in August 2016, prosecutors said.
Brown said evidence shows that while serving time in Georgia’s Autry State Prison in 2015, Reese participated in a telephone scheme to tell victims they had failed to appear for jury duty and would be arrested unless they paid a fine. The scheme continued through July 2020.
Inmates used contraband cellular telephones to access internet websites to find names, addresses, and telephone numbers of potential victims, the news release said. When they called, inmates claimed to be law enforcement officials.
“Unfortunately, there are individuals such as this defendant who have no shame in taking advantage of people who are trusting,” Brown said. “We encourage the public that when someone calls and gives you a story such as this to be cautious and contact your local law enforcement office to confirm that the story is true before you agree to pay any money to anyone.
Reese is scheduled for sentencing on May 20 before U.S. District Judge Donald E. Walter, who accepted the guilty plea on Jan. 28, Brown said. He faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.