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Patty Leon: Scammers beware
Patty Leon new

Last week I wrote about John Schneider and the trial I covered that related to rape charges he faced stemming from an incident in Sunbury back in 2007. It reminded me of what happened after I started getting the first letters from Schneider. Suddenly I started receiving letters from other inmates, from everywhere! Phillips State Prison, Hayes State Prison, Plymouth County Correctional Facility, the Jefferson County Department of Corrections and others.

I also started to receive phone calls from some facilities or from family members who wanted me to look into their family’s situation.

And just this past week I received two different calls from our local jail here in Liberty County. Two men, both confined to the medical ward, complaining about the conditions in jail.

I will look into the matters brought to my attention, as I always do. Some merit reporting; others usually show there are three sides to every story: side A, side B and the truth hidden somewhere in the middle.

Then there are the times when we get pertinent information, yet somehow, someway, these people or this person (or one particular so-called church) manage to continually break the law or scam people out of their hard-earned money and get away with it time and time again. I DON’T LIKE SCAMMERS! These are the cases that make me crazy. Usually, these are hard to prove because the scammers are good at what they do and those they scam are ashamed or embarrassed they fell for it. Folks may not want to go “on the record,” and without that, there isn’t much we can do. These are the cases typically written off because it is a “civil” matter and not criminal and “ain’t nobody got time for that” stuff.

Most are about people saying they will do a certain job, taking people’s money and then never doing the job at all. Suddenly all contact is lost and they move on to the next victim. But if you are able to pull the same stunt, time and time again, across several counties, affecting several families, in my opinion it has crossed the line from civil to criminal. At some point, police and city officials need to start putting all their paperwork together and stop these people from causing harm to others.

And at some point, certain victims refuse to stay silent and fight back. GOOD FOR YOU, AND STAY STRONG! I’ll do what I can for you guys!

And what really grinds my gears are people in positions of power above others who use their power for self-gain and self-promotion and GREED. Especially those who do so “in the name of God.”

It is completely disrespectful to the hundreds and thousands of true, well-intentioned and God-serving pastors and ministers in our county and in our country. Thankfully, at least in Liberty County, I can only think of one such place of abuse. I’ve covered them and have voiced my opinion on this cult before. (I do not consider them a church. A real church doesn’t abuse their parishioners in such a manner.)

There are thousands of people doing good in this world, clothing people, feeding people, assisting their neighbors, caring for the elderly, adopting senior pets, providing for others. Then you have these scum-of-the-earth folks who take from others and face zero consequences. Even if taken to court, they default on their payments, remain free and move on to the next. Even when visited by police on several calls, they are given a slap on the wrist and wake up the next day no worse for wear, like no harm was caused. And then they play the victim.

THEY PLAY THE VICTIM! Boo-hoo and all.

But I believe in karma, and with that — enough said and time to get to work!

Patty Leon is senior editor of the Courier.

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