MARYVILLE, TENNESSEE – Blount County Sheriff James Lee Berrong announced investigators placed warrants on file for a 30-year-old New York man after he swindled a Maryville woman out of $15,000 in a “grandparent” scam.
Blount County Sheriff’s investigators placed warrants on file for Jaquan Jarrod Wright, 30, of Brooklyn, New York for felony theft as well as financial exploitation of elderly or vulnerable. Wright and two females were also charged by Loudon County Sheriff’s investigators with similar crimes. The trio remains in custody in the Loudon County Jail.
Blount County placed a hold on Wright, and he will return to the Blount County Correctional Facility to face his charges here as soon as his case is adjudicated in Loudon County.
The Sheriff’s Office is working jointly with Loudon County Sheriff’s Office on the scheme in which criminals call elderly people claiming to be a family member in trouble needing bail money, and/or a phony attorney or law enforcement official claiming the victim needs to go to the bank and withdraw cash to pay a bond for a grandchild.
The BCSO received numerous complaints last week of this scheme, and a Maryville woman fell victim to the criminal, handing over $15,000 to a phony bail bondsman, identified as Wright, who showed up at her house to pick up the cash. In addition, a victim in Loudon County also lost thousands of dollars to Wright with the same scheme.
Investigators with Loudon County and Blount County Sheriff’s Offices took Wright and two females into custody Thursday evening in Loudon County. Other area jurisdictions reported the same activity in their respective counties last week.
The Blount County Sheriff’s Office is continuing to investigate, and investigators are asking individuals who may have fallen victim to these criminals to come forward and file a report.
“Our strong working relationship with Loudon County Sheriff’s Office and other local law enforcement agencies proved to be invaluable in this case,” Sheriff Berrong said. “This arrest may not have been possible without the collective resources and investigative knowledge we share as a team.”
As a reminder, if you receive this type of phone call, hang up and call 911. These criminals are very convincing and are relentless in their quest to steal your money.