Former Prison Inmate from Georgia Sentenced for Defrauding Victims Out of Over $9,700
SHREVEPORT, La. – Andre Deaveon Reese, 32, of Atlanta, Georgia, has been sentenced by United States District Judge Donald E. Walter to 33 months in prison, followed by 3 years of supervised release, announced United States Attorney Brandon B. Brown. Reese was also ordered to pay restitution to the victims in this case in the amount of $9,797.95.
According to evidence presented to the court, while serving time in the Autry State Prison (Autry) in Georgia in 2015, and continuing through July 2020, Reese participated in a scheme to defraud victims by telling them they had failed to appear for jury duty and a warrant had been issued for their arrest. To carry out this scheme, inmates used contraband cellular telephones from inside Autry to access internet websites to identify the names, addresses, and telephone numbers of potential fraud victims. Using the cellular telephones, inmates called the victims who name, and number had been obtained and made certain false misrepresentations to the victims. The inmates told the victims that they were law enforcement officials and that the victim had unlawfully failed to appear for jury duty. In addition, the victims were told that because they had failed to appear for jury duty, warrants had been issued for their arrest and the victim had a choice of being arrested on the warrant or pay a fine to have the arrest warrant dismissed.
To make the calls seem real, Reese, along with other inmates, created fictitious voicemail greetings on their contraband cellular telephones used by the inmates, identifying themselves as members of legitimate law enforcement agencies, including the U.S. Marshal Service. For those victims who wanted to pay a fine, the inmates instructed them to purchase pre-paid cash cards and provide the account number of the cash card or the victim could wire money directly into a pre-paid debit card account held by the inmates or one of the co-conspirators. Based on these false representations, the victims electronically transferred money to the inmates because they believe that the funds would be used to pay the fine.
After a victim provided an inmate with the account number of the pre-paid cash card, the inmates then used their contraband cellular telephones to contact co-conspirators, who were not incarcerated, to have those individuals transfer the money from the cash card purchased by the victims to a pre-paid debit card possessed by the co-conspirators. The co-conspirators would then withdraw the victim’s money via an automated teller machine or at a retail store.
In August of 2016, two individuals, ages 75 and 78, living in the Western District of Louisiana, became victims of Reese’s scheme. The victims believed the callers, who were inmates posing as legitimate law enforcement officers, and followed their instructions to pay them to have the alleged warrants for their arrest for failing to appear for jury duty dismissed. The two victims $9,797.95 to Reese and his co-conspirators.
The case was investigated by the FBI and U.S. Marshal Service and was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mary J. Mudrick.
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