Louisiana scam means 33 months, $9800 from Atlanta man

June 10, 2022 GMT

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) — A federal judge in Louisiana has sentenced an Atlanta man to nearly three years in prison for a jury duty phone scam that started while he was in a Georgia state prison.

Judge Donald E. Walter sentenced Andre Deaveon Reese, 32, to two years and nine months in prison and ordered him to pay the two Louisiana victims nearly $9,800 restitution, U.S. Attorney Brandon B. Brown said in a news release Friday. The victims were 75 and 78 years old.

Online court records show that Walter sentenced Reese on Wednesday. He pleaded guilty in February to one count of wire fraud conspiracy.

Prosecutors say Reese and other Autry State Prison inmates would tell victims they’d be arrested for skipping jury duty unless they paid a fine. Victims were told they could wire the money to an account or provide the number of a prepaid cash card over the phone.

“To make the calls seem real, Reese, along with other inmates, created fictitious voicemail greetings on their contraband cellular telephones ... identifying themselves as members of legitimate law enforcement agencies,” the news release said.

The conspiracy charge carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The judge said Reese must spend three years on supervised release after he gets out of prison.