Flora con artist convicted of stealing more than $12,000 from elderly woman

Flora con artist convicted of stealing more than $12,000 from elderly woman

FLORA, MS (WLBT) - A Flora man has been sentenced to 10 years in prison for vulnerable adult exploitation, after stealing more than $12,000 from an 80-year-old woman.

It took the jury less than 35 minutes to reach a unanimous verdict in the case of 57-year-old Dewayne Carlos Small. He was sentenced as a non-violent habitual offender and will serve his sentence day-for-day, without the possibility of parole, probation or early release.

On December 6, 2017, Flora law enforcement responded to the home of the victim, following a phone call from her son, regarding more than $12,000 missing from her checking account.

When law enforcement arrived, Small was also at the residence. The victim’s son explained to law enforcement that his mother attempted to transfer money to his account, only to find that she did not have the funds to do so.

Upon further investigation, they found more than 17 checks written to Small, and later found checks written to his girlfriend. The elderly victim suffered from memory loss and did not remember the transactions.

Law enforcement began investigating the matter and determined that Small had been hired to cut down several trees, bamboo and shrubs on the victim’s property; however, the yard work was not completed. During the investigation, Region’s Bank was able to provide still video of Small cashing the victim’s checks at several of their branches to avoid suspicion and they provided copies of the checks.

“Small is nothing less than a career con artist who preyed on an elderly woman who simply wanted yard work completed and ended up losing all of her money at the hands of Small," said District Attorney Bramlett. "His criminal career started in 2006 in South Carolina, but ended last week in Madison County. He will now spend the next decade incarcerated with the Mississippi Department of Corrections for cheating a Madison County resident.”

In 2006, Small was sentenced in South Carolina to serve five years for domestic/criminal domestic violence; in 2008, to five years for breach of trust with fraudulent intent; and in 2013, for financial transaction card fraud.

Bramlett concluded, “Flora law enforcement did an outstanding job of helping remove a con artist from our streets and we are very thankful for the assistance provided by Region’s Bank.”

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