News Story


National Phone Scam Investigation
2/13/2016 11:20:00 AM


Nature of Incident:

National Phone Scam Investigation

Report Number:



Ventura County

Date & Time:

January 2015

Unit(s) Responsible:

Ventura County Sheriff's Office,

(S)uspects, (V)ictims, (P)arty, (D)ecedent

City of Residence






In January of 2015, the Ventura County Sheriff's Office began investigating a series of phone scams targeting Ventura County Residents.  In each of the cases, a caller would identify himself as a Captain with the Ventura County Sheriff's Office and inform the resident he/she had failed to report for Jury Duty.  The suspect would inform the resident there was a warrant issued for their arrest and demanded $5,000 to recall the warrant. 


Investigators were able to identify the suspect's phone number and found he was calling hundreds of potential victims a day.  Based on phone records, the targeted victims lived in various areas throughout the United States.  The suspect showed a degree of sophistication in his attempted crimes by changing his phone number on almost a daily basis.  Investigators found all of the phone calls originated from a cell phone located inside the Jimmy Autry Correctional Institute in Pelham, Georgia.


Investigators learned the FBI was actively investigating charges of corruption in the institution.  At the time of the investigation, there were no known completed transfers of money by Ventura County residents.  The Sheriff's Office deferred its investigation and provided the FBI with details of its case. 


The FBI recently announced its federal indictments as a result of their corruption investigation.  To date, the suspect in the Ventura County phone scam attempts has not been identified.          



For more information on the FBI's corruption investigation, please refer to the below link.


Prepared by:

Sgt. Bill Schierman


News Release Date:



Media Follow-Up Contact:

Sgt. Bill Schierman 805-383-8729


Approved by:

Curt Rothschiller.



Ventura County Crime Stoppers will pay up to $1,000 reward for information, which leads to the arrest and criminal complaint against the person(s) responsible for this crime.  The caller may remain anonymous.  The call is not recorded.  Call Crime Stoppers at 800-222-TIPS (8477).