Story Archive

Who Ya Gonna Call?

Larry Stone, 32, an inmate at Florida’s Lake County Jail, made a phone call. To make a call (local calls are $2.58, long distance $13.85, and international calls $23.68), the cost is debited from the inmate’s trust account before it goes through. But Stone’s call didn’t go through, so Global Tel*Link, the phone company that provides phone service for inmates, refunded the call’s cost to his jail account. But a problem with Global Tel*Link’s system credited the amount twice, and Stone noticed the balance of his jail account was higher than before he made the call. So over the next four hours, jailers say, he made 77 calls, hanging up before they connected. When he was done, his jail account had more than $1,250 in it, which was enough for him to make bail — and walk out with $50 cash in his pocket. Over the next 24 hours, 256 inmates had accidental credits to their accounts from Global Tel*Link. Jailers caught on to the scheme when a second inmate tried to pay his $1,400 bail with his jail account. When Stone found out that deputies were looking for him, he turned himself in — and was charged with scheming with intent to defraud and grand theft. (RC/Orlando Sentinel) ...On the bright side, he was allowed one phone call.
Original Publication Date: 21 August 2011
This story is in True’s book collections, in Volume 18.

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