Show Up for Jury Duty or Pay the (Con) Man

We’ve documented some of the more egregious cases of juror misbehavior over the years, but a recent scam taking place near Denver has turned the misbehaving juror dynamic on its head.
Apparently an area “entrepreneur” is doing his part to police the pool of jurors who don’t show up for service by impersonating a police officer and demanding that jury scofflaws pay a fine. Several residents have been victimized by the scheme, and the anonymous con man even threatened a sheriff’s deputy who happened to be with a friend who was targeted with a call.
Calling himself “Major Tom Wilson,” the bogus cop scares locals by telling them he’s with the sheriff’s department. He then orders them to go to local stores that sell a particular pre-paid bank card before calling back so victims can provide him with the related security codes that allow him to access the cash himself. The bait-and-switch scheme has caused more than one resident to pay $1,000 “fines” that aren’t actually owed. The sheriff’s office is issuing public warnings and asking for help identifying the opportunistic charlatan.
The irony of breaking the law to punish those who are also breaking the law is the kind of thing that keeps lawyers employed.  Once identified, “Major Wilson” will also have his day in court.  

Posted: 11/21/2013 10:25:30 AM by Editor | with 0 comments

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Thanks for stopping by On the Merits, the first blog from the Texas Center for Legal Ethics. On the Merits will take a close look at significant legal stories with an eye toward addressing the legal myths and misconceptions that turn up in news stories, movies, TV programs, websites, anonymous emails and other forms of mass communications. Our goal at On the Merits is to provide readers with a thoughtful examination of what the media and others are saying about the legal profession and to apply the frequently-absent context of how the legal system actually works.

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