State Correction Employee Charged In Foreign Money Order Scam

A state employee who works in Greenville is accused of helping a foreign scam that asks victims to cash worthless money orders for them.

Mary Ellen Williams is being held on a $1 million bond on 52 counts for a forgery scam. Authorities say the 57-year-old woman is a personnel assistant at the Eastern Regional Office for the Department of Correction.

Pitt County deputies say Williams is now cooperating with investigators. They say she got involved in the scam over the Internet, getting a package of 470 money orders two to three times a month.

The scam artist would email Williams a list of people all over the country, and she would mail the fake money orders to them, according to deputies. The victims were told to cash the money orders, keeping a portion for their trouble and then sending the rest back to the man in Africa. The problem was, once it was learned the money orders were fake, the victims had to repay the entire amount.

Deputies say the woman got compensated by the man behind the scam.

Investigators say more charges are possible.

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