Scammers Target Families of North Carolina Inmates with False Promises of Early Release

Scammers are targeting families of inmates, including convicted killer Molly Martens, with false promises of early release in exchange for cash payments. Prison officials warn that these offers are a scam and urge families not to fall victim.

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Aqsa Younas Rana
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Scammers Target Families of North Carolina Inmates with False Promises of Early Release

Scammers Target Families of North Carolina Inmates with False Promises of Early Release

Scammers are preying on the families of inmates at the North Carolina Department of Adult Correction, including the family of convicted killer Molly Martens, by making false promises of early release in exchange for cash payments. Prison officials are warning that these offers are a scam and urging families not to fall victim.

Why this matters: This scam highlights the vulnerability of families of inmates, who are often desperate for any opportunity to reunite with their loved ones. If left unchecked, these scams can lead to financial exploitation and emotional distress for families, as well as undermine trust in the criminal justice system.

The scammers contact inmates' families claiming that the prisoner can be fitted with an ankle monitor and released early if the family pays a fee to the NC Post-Release and Supervision and Parole Commission. However, a spokesman for the prison emphasized, "This is a scam. The commission never accepts money for early release or for any other reason."

One of the inmates targeted in this scam is Molly Martens, who is serving a sentence for the 2015 killing of her Irish husband Jason Corbett. Martens was initially convicted of second-degree murder in 2017, but her conviction was later overturned by an appeals court. In October 2022, Martens and her father Tom Martens agreed to a plea deal, pleading guilty to voluntary manslaughter and avoiding a retrial.

In November 2022, Molly and Tom Martens were sentenced to prison terms of 54 to 74 months. The prison authority initially announced they would be released in early December 2022 but later corrected the release dates to June 27, 2024. The Martens family is just one of many being targeted by scammers attempting to exploit their hopes of reuniting with incarcerated loved ones sooner.

Conditions at the North Carolina Correctional Institution for Women, where Molly Martens is being held, have been described as challenging. Natasha Purvis, a former inmate at the prison, called it a "foul-smelling nightmare" with facilities in disrepair, overworked and underpaid officers, and easy access to drugs. Many prisoners struggle with boredom, depression, and limited opportunities for work or education.

The North Carolina Department of Adult Correction is working to combat these scams and protect inmates' families from being victimized. Officials reiterate that the parole commission never requests or accepts money in exchange for an inmate's early release. Families should be vigilant of any such offers and report them to prison authorities. Molly Martens and other inmates are not eligible for early release at this time, regardless of any payments made.

Key Takeaways

  • Scammers are targeting families of inmates, including Molly Martens, with false promises of early release for cash.
  • The NC Post-Release and Supervision and Parole Commission never accepts money for early release or any other reason.
  • Families are being exploited emotionally and financially, undermining trust in the criminal justice system.
  • Molly Martens is serving 54-74 months for voluntary manslaughter and is not eligible for early release.
  • Prison authorities urge families to be vigilant and report any such scams to prevent further victimization.