A Waycross woman was arrested Thursday and charged with exploitation of the elderly and felony theft after Ware County Sheriff’s Department investigators linked her to a scam involving deceptively solicited checks sent through the mail, one of which — in the amount of $60,500 — was intercepted by lawmen, said Ware County Sheriff’s Capt. Neil Skerratt, speaking for Sheriff Randy Royal.
Edna Lee Howard, 58, of the 700 block of James Puckett Way, was taken into custody Thursday by Detective Missy Thrift and booked into the Ware County jail, said Skerratt.
Howard recently received a check from an elderly woman in North Carolina who had been led to believe she had won $10 million in a lottery. Skerratt said lawmen intercepted that check. He said Howard had instructed the victim to send a cashier’s check as a condition of gaining the $10 million prize.
He said detectives believe it was the third time Howard had successfully duped the Seagrove, N.C. woman into mailing her big checks.
“In going back through her bank records, we discovered that she had already sent two checks totaling $115,000 to the same location,” said Skerratt. “Detective Missy Thrift began to follow up and found that the North Carolina victim had (already) sent $100,000 at one (other) time. (And a $15,000 check on another occasion.)”
He said Howard might also have perpetrated similar cons targeting other victims.
“After conducting interviews and checking bank records and documents, we believe there may be more victims out there.”
Howard was being held in the Ware County jail charged with exploitation of an elderly person and theft by deception, felony, said Skerratt.
“That was a good job by Detective Thrift and that investigation is continuing,” said Skerratt.