LAUREL, MS (WDAM) - The Jones County Sheriff's Department expects multiple victims as the investigation into fraudulent activity at a Laurel business continues.
Bond was set at $15,000 each for Perry Taylor, 60, and Casey Pitts, 33, Saturday afternoon by Judge Billie Graham. The two each face a racketeering charge, as well as two conspiracy to commit fraud charges.
Judge Graham told both Taylor and Pitts they are not to have contact with any of the alleged victims or do anything to interfere with the investigation.
According to the Jones County Sheriff's Department., deputies executed a search warrant at Southeastern Auto Sales, LLC on Highway 15 North in Laurel on August 10, 2017. Authorities said a victim reported the car he traded in a month ago had not been paid off by the dealer. Through public records and state vehicle registration documents, authorities said it was determined that both the vehicle traded in and vehicle purchased had liens on them.
JCSD said a second search warrant uncovered a significant pattern of fraudulent activity related to Southeastern Auto Sales.
According to court documents, Pitts admitted that he had conspired with Taylor to commit fraudulent activity.
Lt. Robert Little, an investigator with JCSD, said with the number of victims expected, he was "optimistic" Taylor and Pitts would "help rather than hinder" the investigation. He called this a "complex" case and said the Jones County Sheriff's Department has requested the assistance of state and federal agencies.
If you have purchased a vehicle from Southeastern Auto Sales, LLC in Laurel and have not received your title, you should contact your local tag office to find if the vehicle has a lien of which you are unaware. Lt. Little said if you are currently making payments on a vehicle, potential victims need to contact the Mississippi Attorney General's Consumer Protection Division.