SIKESTON, MO (KFVS) - Two Sikeston men were arrested on Sunday after allegedly scamming three elderly people out of more than $25,000.
On Sunday, March 13, 2016, at approximately 8:30 a.m., an officer with the Sikeston Department of Public Safety says he responded to a home in Sikeston for the report of fraud.
Jerry Higdon, 81, told officers that a man he has known for approximately 10 years, Jimmy L. Poyner, was holding a cashier's check issued to him through the court system for $9 million.
Higdon said he had given Poyner $3,347 in cash to pay taxes on the check on March 11 to pay "the courts."
Higdon said on the same day, Poyner called him and said he was in jail in Perryville and needed bond money.
He says a Missouri State Highway Patrol Trooper called him and told him Poyner had been arrested for fighting a trooper. He says he thought Poyner had his check awarded by the courts, and thought he would not get it if Poyner was in jail.
Higdon said he and his sister Catherine E. Higdon came up with $500 cash.
That's when Poyner's roommate, James R. Ramsey, came to his home at approximately 10 p.m. on the March 11.
Ramsey told him he needed $500 for Poyner's bond.
He gave Ramsey the $500 cash for his bond in fear he would not get his awarded money.
Higdon says he was unable to make contact with Poyner by telephone and decided to call the police.
Higdon says he was informed about the $9 million check after a man claiming to be a Scott County judge called him and told him he gave the check to Poyner to give it to him.
Jerry's sister, Catherine E. Higdon, 93, says Poyner had come to her several times asking for money and borrowed several thousands of dollars throughout the month of February 2016. Catherine said she trusted Poyner and had loaned him approximately $11,000 from the beginning of February 2016 to the reported date.
Jerry's other sister, Willie C. Higdon, 87, says Poyner told her brother Jerry he would pay outstanding fines for him by taking the money to the Scott County Court.
It was apparent Jerry, Catherine and Willie had been victims of stealing by deceit.
The total amount received from the victims was approximately $25,241.
The three had paid all of the money in $100 cash to Poyner. All three said they wanted to pursue charges and gave recorded statements of the events.
The three reported they had given all of their savings to Poyner.
They said they were only going to receive their Social Security to live, and believed they could not make the month of March payment for their home.
Poyner was found at his home 600 Pine Apartment K5 in Sikeston. When asked by Poyner if he had been arrested on March 11, 2016 by Highway Patrol, he said he had not. When asked about Higdon, Poyner immediately said all of that was "a civil matter."
Poyner denied Higdon giving him money to pay for court costs.
Both Poyner and Ramsey, who were at the home, were taken into custody.
Poyner had $2,901 in 29 $100 bills and one $1 bill in his wallet in his pocket.
The cash was seized as evidence.
Ramsey was also taken into custody.
He was read his Miranda rights and agreed to speak to police.