By Sarah Horne
Money laundering can land you in jail, but nine individuals used the jail itself as the setting for a fraudulent money scheme, officials said.
The scam allegedly involved nine men who are now all facing money laundering and telecommunications fraud charges. They are Parisian Fitzhugh, Georvaughn Campbell, Charles Harrell, Demontez Harrison, Dyerico Johnson, Dominic Lindsey, Jerome McCoy, Cortez Reed and Eric Sanks.
According to prosecutors, the scheme would start with a person using a bad credit card to transfer funds into an inmate’s account.
Then the inmate would ask someone at the justice center to send the money in his account to a friend or family member, officials said.
Finally, investigators said an employee at the jail would write a check to someone on the outside.
The banks connected to the credit cards lost about $4,000 were lost throughout this process, officials said.
Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office spokesman Lt. David Daugherty said this case is the first of its kind for the county.
The case has been under investigation for about two years, he said, and it has resulted in changes to how money is processed from inside to outside the jail.
Before inmates could transfer up to $500 out of the jail at once, Daugherty said. Now, the amount is up to $250.
He said now there is more internal and external vetting and credit cards are checked for clearance before transactions are made. Inmates are also restricted to one transaction per month, Daugherty said.
One of the nine defendants is already being held at the Hamilton County Justice Center. Trials in the case have not yet been scheduled.