BAYTOWN, Texas – A man is accused of scamming a California-based company out of $20,000 that was intended for 60 tons of chicken feet, the Harris County District Attorney's Office said.
The man, Vanquil Marquis Jones, 26, is charged with one county of money laundering between $150,000 and $300,000.
Investigators said a business owner in California contacted a company called Tyson Foods International, not the well-known Tyson Foods Corporation.
The owner contacted Tyson Foods International and negotiated a deal for 60 tons of chicken feet and sent a down-payment of $19,800. When the chicken feet were never delivered, the owner of the company contacted law enforcement who traced Tyson Foods International to Jones in Baytown, officials said.
Investigators said they learned that Jones had withdrawn the money within a week of its wiring.
Baytown police spoke with Jones, who confirmed that he owns and operates Tyson Foods International as a catering company and admitted he chose the name because it sounded similar to the popular Tyson Foods Corporation.
While investigating the case, police said they learned there were three elderly women who had been in contact with Jones online. One victim, who police said is a widow and is suffering from cancer, fell in love with Jones and sent him thousands of dollars.
Money in that case was sent to the same account Jones used for Tyson Foods International, police said.
When police attempted to interview Jones again, he was no where to be found.
Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 713-222-TIPS (8477).