- Associated Press - Thursday, May 7, 2015

SHREVEPORT, La. (AP) - One of the 11 people accused in a cable TV ID theft case is in a New York State jail, and one of the two alleged ringleaders has surrendered in Caddo Parish, the Caddo Parish sheriff’s spokeswoman says.

Willie James Jones, 42, of Shreveport turned himself in Wednesday and was booked with 107 counts of identity theft and one of criminal conspiracy, Cindy Chadwick said. Charles Smith, 41, was arrested Thursday in Genesee County, New York, on a warrant accusing him of one count of each crime, she said.

Jones and his brother, Michael Jones, 39, of Baltimore - like all but one of the people accused in the case - were subcontractors who signed up to recruit northwest Louisiana subscribers for Comcast Corp. RMH Cable TV of Austin, Texas, paid them a commission for each new subscriber.

The 10 workers signed up 3,600 households, telling new subscribers that they were getting free or very low-cost service. However, to create those accounts, they were using the names and other information of people who already were Comcast subscribers elsewhere, according to Sheriff Steve Prator.

He said the Jones brothers allegedly paid a Comcast worker in Tennessee for the Comcast subscriber data. That worker is now in the Caddo Parish jail; Michael Jones is among three people still at large.

Smith also faces charges in New York, so it is not clear when he will be returned to Caddo Parish, Chadwick said.

RMH President and CEO Robert Haddaway estimates that his company lost more than $750,000 - about $500,000 in commissions the company was paid but had to return to Comcast because subscribers didn’t pay bills, and more than $250,000 in commissions to the 10 subcontractors.

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