• SCS school discovers felon in apparent scam

    By: Zach Crenshaw

    Updated:

    MEMPHIS, Tenn. - A convicted felon slipped into an SCS Middle School and was volunteering up until this week.

    The man, Jason Smith, has been arrested in at least four states.

    He claimed to work at Sherwood Middle School. A fake website was even created where Smith was listed as an administrator.

    Shelby County Schools made it clear though, Smith was never an employee. A spokesperson said he was never even an approved volunteer, which undergo background checks.

    One look at Smith’s background reveals a lot of red flags.

    In 2009 Smith was sentenced to 10 years in prison in Kentucky for theft by deception.

    Basically, he wrote bad checks.

    He also escaped and was a fugitive for a year before being captured and sent back to Kentucky.

    Smith was in and out of jail until October 2016 when he was paroled again.

    Smith been arrested in Florida, Georgia, Memphis, and even Southaven, Mississippi in 2015 while he was on parole.

    (FLORIDA http://www.actionnewsjax.com/news/local/accused-con-man-says-businesses-charities-he-wrote/43333718)

    (GEORGIA http://www.ajc.com/news/local/cops-convicted-felon-wrote-fake-200k-check-mission/3X8oDVTO0jDMwRHi3h29YI/​)

    According to Southaven PD, "[Smith] was indicted for the charge of Defrauding an Innkeeper. Failure to pay Hotel bill. He was wanted out of Louisville Kentucky, Jefferson County, for escape."

    Virtually all of Smith's arrests have to do with fraud and theft, which brings us back to Sherwood.

    On the fake Sherwood website Smith listed himself as an administrator. His title, "Watch D.O.G.S. Administrator." The DOGS stands for "Dad's of Great Students."

    (FAKE WEBSITE: http://sherwoodwatchdogs.com/home.html)

    SCS told FOX13 on Friday that program does not exist.

    Middle school employees told FOX13 that Smith was planning to use the fake program and position to take in fraudulent donations. 

    They said he lied to the principal and the football coach and told them he was either volunteering or sent by the school district.

    Apparently, real administrators caught on though, and this week Smith bailed out on Sherwood.

    An SCS spokesperson told FOX13 via email “If he shows up on our property, local law enforcement will be notified.”

    Shelby County Schools did not answer questions about how Smith initially got access to the school, left the school, or what his role was like while spending time at Sherwood.

    Smith has gone by multiple different names over the years. Some listed aliases are Jason Gaters, Jerell Smith, and Joshua Gaters.  

    Because Smith has so many different aliases, FOX13 was not able to track him down for comment today.

    A television station in Arkansas recently noted Smith was in their area and reported the he was writing bad checks.

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