Suspect accused of theft, scamming Meredith’s Miracles
Published 4:31 pm Tuesday, April 26, 2022
The Andalusia Police Department has charged a Dothan woman with theft by deception for her role in a scam that defrauded Meredith’s Miracles.
Chief Paul Hudson said the charitable organization, which provides non-medical travel assistance to parents of children who need out-of-area medical care, approached the APD Monday with a suspicion of the fraud.
Capt. Bret Holmes said that Meredith’s Miracles suspected an elaborate and detailed scheme had been created to get money from the charity. By mid-day, the APD had developed a suspect, and the APD worked with the Dothan Police Department to move the investigation forward.
The APD used an undercover person who set up a meeting with the suspect in Dothan. A member of the APD posed as a board member from Meredith’s Miracles to meet the suspect.
When they met the suspect, she was not alone. She was detained by the Dothan Police Department at the request of the APD, as was the man who accompanied her.
After being interrogated by the APD, she confessed to her role in the scam, and confirmed the actions Meredith’s Miracles believed to be fraudulent.
Sykell Jameci Jackson, 21, of Dothan, was charged with theft by deception first, and booked into the Covington County Jail. District Judge Julie Moody set her bond at $100,000.
Holmes said the investigation is continuing and additional charges are expected.
“We appreciated the diligence of Meredith’s Miracles in pursuing this case once they suspected fraud,” Chief Paul Hudson said.
Meredith’s Miracles Executive Director Kylie Spears said the charity is reevaluating its procedures as a result of the scam.
Meredith’s Miracles Executive Director Kiley Spears met with the charity’s board Tuesday to update them on the situation. The Board commended Mrs. Spears on her quick action in recognizing this fraudulent scheme.
The Meredith’s Miracles Board released the following statement:
“Meredith’s Miracles has in place procedures to protect client identity and needs and would like to assure the public that no legitimate client records have been compromised. Meredith’s Miracles will continue to follow existing procedures while re-examining protocols for identifying individual client advocates and ensuring the mission of Meredith’s Miracles. Families will continue to receive support in spite of this elaborate and convincing scheme to defraud our charitable organization.”
The board also expressed its appreciation to the Andalusia Police Department and the Dothan Police Department for expediting the investigation and bringing the scheme to an end.