51 accused of cellphone scam at Autry State Prison

Published: Jan. 22, 2016 at 11:45 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 22, 2016 at 4:08 PM EST
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PELHAM, GA (WALB) - Fifty-one people were indicted Thursday after federal prosecutors said 18 inmates at the Autry State Prison conducted scam calls from inside their cells.

The two-year investigation, conducted by the Georgia Department of Corrections (GDC) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), claims the inmates posed as law enforcement agents and called people, falsely informing them that they missed jury duty and that there was a warrant out for their arrest.

The inmates then told the alleged victims that they could either pay a fine or be arrested. People were then directed to give the scammers the numbers of prepaid cash cards or wire money to an inmate's prepaid account.

Those indicted include four current correctional officers, 11 former officers, 18 current inmates, and 21 civilians. The four current officers have been terminated.

GDC commissioner Homer Bryson said, "Our partnership with the FBI is imperative in combating and exposing these criminal networks."

Autry State Prison is a medium security facility that houses more than 1,500 inmates.

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