DAYTONA BEACH, Fla. – The Daytona Beach Police Department is asking the public’s help to find the suspects who they said are using a Volusia County deputy’s name to swindle senior citizens out of money in a jury duty fraud scheme.
A 73-year-old Port Orange woman told News 6 she lost $3,200 last month after she believed she had to pay fines for missing jury duty.
“He said they were going to come and arrest me, and they were going to take me off in handcuffs unless I paid the bond,” she said.
The Port Orange resident declined to reveal her identity but said a man called her house phone claiming to be Officer Brian Henderson with the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office. She said she was skeptical and used her cell phone to call the sheriff’s office.
“They said he was busy. I figured, yes he was busy; he’s talking to me on the phone,” said the woman.
She then agreed to meet 33-year-old Pierra Terrell outside Jones Bail Bonds on Adams Street and handed over the cash. Police said Terrell acted as a bondsman in the scheme but said the bail bonds agency had nothing to do with it.
“Almost immediately after I handed her the envelope, I realized it was a mistake,” said the victim.
Daytona Beach Police arrested Terrell but said they’re still looking for at least two more people involved. Authorities said the suspects used the bail bonds parking lot, Samuels Butts Archeologist Park and outside the Volusia Mall for the transactions. Police said the suspects stole from three people and attempted to steal from three others.
“Our grand total right now that they have gotten is $10,200 and all of our victims are seniors in our community,” Deputy Chief Jakari Young said.
The police department invited the real Brian Henderson who is the Division Chief for the Volusia County Sheriff’s Office to explain how jury duty works. He also believes the suspects got his name from searching online.
“Law enforcement will not call you. They will not demand money from you. If you happen to miss jury duty, they will send you a letter and they will remind you that you missed it. If it doesn’t seem right, chances are, it’s not right,” he said.