A Brookhaven man has been charged with six counts of wire fraud after allegedly extorting a criminal defendant charged in a separate federal case in Atlanta.

Jamal Harrison, 33, allegedly told the unnamed defendant that federal prosecutors would dismiss charges in that defendant’s case for $15,000, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia.

“Harrison allegedly promised a favorable outcome in the victim’s federal case when instead it was just a scam,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Kurt R. Erskine in the press release.  “If a member of the public is asked to pay a bribe, don’t pay it and call the FBI immediately.”   

According to the press release, Harrison met with the unnamed defendant in August of 2020, claiming to be a part-time employee of the Georgia Bureau of Investigation. Harrison allegedly said he knew the federal prosecutor in the defendant’s case, and that he could get the defendant’s charges dismissed for $15,000. The defendant initially refused, but Harrison later allegedly claimed if the defendant did not pay the $15,000, the prosecutor would file additional charges and seek a longer prison sentence. At that time, the defendant gave Harrison $12,000 in cash.

Around January of 2021, the defendant realized Harrison had lied, but Harrison allegedly continued to claim he could get the defendant’s charges dismissed if he received more money. In March of 2021, the defendant recorded a meeting with Harrison, where they gave Harrison $3,000 and Harrison allegedly promised the case would be dismissed. 

A grand jury returned an indictment against Harrison on six counts of wire fraud on Aug. 24, according to the press release. 

A spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Georgia declined to comment on what the victim – in this case, the unnamed defendant – had been indicted for, and said a trial date for Harrison has not yet been set. 

Sammie Purcell

Sammie Purcell is a staff writer for Reporter Newspapers.