Satellite installer arrested, charged with running scam

Published 6:00 am Tuesday, January 25, 2005

A Harrisville man was released on a $20,000 bond Monday afterbeing arrested Friday for his alleged involvement in a satellitetelevision installation scam.

Edward Walls, 41, of 227 Wash Welch Road, faces charges offelony false pretense. His bond was reduced to $2,000 later Mondayafter he had been released, Lawrence County Sheriff Joel Thamessaid.

The sheriff said his office was alerted to the scam byresidents.

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Walls allegedly portrayed himself as a DirecTV installer andpurported to sell service for $49.99, Thames said. He was paid atthe time a customer signed a contract and would then set up aninstallation appointment, Thames said, but the customers neverreceived the service. Further investigation discovered Wallsallegedly was using fraudulent contracts, Thames said.

“The contracts he was using were no longer used by the company,”Thames said. “(The company) also said he no longer worked for themand that he had not worked for them for quite some time.”

Investigators were able to make an arrest when one of Walls’potential customers alerted the sheriff’s office that Walls wouldbe a friend’s house at a specific time to sell her a system.

During an interview following the arrest, Thames said Walls “didadvise that he had done it in other counties also but he would notsay what counties they were.”

Thames urged anyone who believes they may have been a victim ofthe scam to call his office at (601) 587-2961 or their localsheriff’s department.