by Monte McCoin
On December 1, 2017, police in Gastonia, North Carolina filed charges against Crystal Dawn Massey, who was already incarcerated at the Gaston County jail, for her role in a fake bail bond scam she attempted to carry out while locked up.
Massey told other prisoners she could help them be released by calling her “uncle” at “Byrd Dog Bail Bonding.” Instead of a referral to local licensed bondsman Carl Byrd’s legitimate bonding business, however, Massey gave fellow prisoners a number that actually belonged to Hoyt Edward Woody, Jr., who had no affiliation with Byrd or his company.
Rodney Jeter’s jailed girlfriend took the bait.
Jeter called the number he’d been given, and agreed to meet with a man who said he would accept $750 to post the unnamed girlfriend’s $25,000 bond. The pair met at an ATM near the jail, but the machine did not work and money did not change hands.
When Jeter’s disappointed girlfriend reached out to the real Carl Byrd and told him about the incident, he contacted the Gaston County Sheriff’s Office.
“I’m very, very upset,” Byrd told the Gaston Gazette. “I don’t know how to express in words how I feel about it. How can people do that, to hurt a man, a small businessman out here like that?”
“When you got a loved one in jail, it’s about doing anything you can do to get them out of jail,” Jeter said. “It upsets me. I’ve been locked up several times, and I don’t think it’s right what he did.”
It is unclear if Woody will face criminal charges in addition to Massey, or whether the scam had other victims.
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